Entrepreneurship has long been considered a man’s field, but the tide is slowly shifting. Women have now entered into the mix. When it comes to matching the male counterparts, women have been making great strides in the business world. Today, more than 9 million US firms are owned and operated by women and generate more than 1.5 trillion dollars in sales. Though this number is fast rising, there still exists very few female investors and startup founders.
Although more women are embracing entrepreneurship, they continue to face critical challenges. To shed light on some of these challenges they face, let us look at them keenly.
To make it in business, women have to defy a lot of social expectations. You can walk into a crowded seminar, and if you count the number of women present, you get a shocker. There are many stereotypes where the attitude places men at a higher position in business. Society thinks women are not as competitive, and aggressive towards the industry as men are. However, successful women CEO can break up these myths.
Limited Access to Funding
Startups are known to struggle in search for investors to get their business off the ground. The few that get funding can explain how the process is never natural. There is some known truth that startups that get funding from investors get it because investors can relate and associate with such founders- They are their people. Investors look for businesses that can grow their valuations to more than 1 billion US Dollars. If there are experts in your founding team that can execute business operations to turn such a valuation, then investors are more than willing to be associated with the startup. In the startup field, women have long been performing so poorly.
Lack of Role Models
There are many successful female entrepreneurs around the world. However, male entrepreneurs usually get better media coverage and visibility. It is easy to name successful male entrepreneurs as compared to their female counterparts. Women tend to start businesses in those sectors where they have experience and not so much in the technical areas. When a female entrepreneur emerges from a professional position, they usually struggle to get female mentors and role models from the same sector.
Fear of Failure
There is the fear of failure and fear of success. Usually, when male entrepreneurs open a business, there is not much pressure placed on them regarding whether the company will be successful or not. However, when their female counterparts do the same, there tends to be unnecessary pressure and scrutiny placed on them, in the name of seeing how their chances of success will be.
It can be quite overwhelming to effectively manage time, communication and family all at once if you are a woman. When you venture in the business world, no one will give you a resource book outlying how these issues are balanced. As an entrepreneur who loves doing what they have started, taking a break becomes even riskier. The key to effectively manage all the issues affecting your business lies in the delegation, and effective delegating for that matter.