Understanding the Roadblocks & Strategies
Entrepreneurship has long been touted as a powerful tool for economic empowerment.
And women-owned businesses can be game-changers!
Empowering women through entrepreneurship is the essence of a developing economy.
It is a powerful tool that can help women achieve financial independence, boost their confidence, and help build businesses beneficial for them and their families.
However, starting and running a business can be a daunting task.
Especially with the unique challenges women face, such as gender bias, societal pressure, and lack of access to resources.
Despite these challenges, women have risen and shone as successful entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurship has offered the opportunity to break down the social norms that have long prevented women from exercising their full potential.
This paradigm shift could have metamorphic effects.
But to shift this paradigm, we need to understand and discuss the existing roadblocks and tangible solutions that can help.
In a society where poverty is a pressing issue, the plight of women and girls can't be overlooked.
It hinders their ability to obtain fundamental necessities such as education and healthcare, stifling women's economic autonomy.
It restricts their access to quality financial products and services like savings accounts or loans.
What happens when these opportunities are not presented to women?
They tend to work in low-wage, informal jobs with exploitative and unequal conditions or without access to the credit, resources, and information they need to start businesses that create jobs and boost local economies.
To end this vicious cycle, the reduction of poverty is a must.
Everything from ensuring equal rights to economic resources and access to new technology will help women become self-reliant.
The Vicious Cycle of Jobs & Experience
The world needs more women entrepreneurs, or as they are called, Fempreneurs.
More often than not, successful entrepreneurs credit their triumphs to their experiences.
Disadvantaged by gender bias and unfavorable business environments, women are often not afforded the opportunity of much-needed job experiences.
This gap in jobs needs to be addressed.
Many organizations are launching programs to help women entrepreneurs overcome their challenges.
These initiatives can include providing funding and resources, creating business opportunities for women, or empowering female role models within an organization.
Gender Pay Gap
Unfortunately, there are a variety of roadblocks that women face in the financial world.
Pay discrimination is amongst the hardest to overcome.
According to the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2021, India ranked 140th out of 156 countries regarding the gender pay gap, with women earning only 22.3% of what men earn.
A commitment to fair compensation and transparency around salaries and bonuses can put the ball rolling.
Fair pay schemes can act as an easy step toward women's empowerment.
It is one of the most effective ways to ensure that women are treated fairly and do not feel like they are being discriminated against because of their gender.
And if, even after fair pay, you feel that your self-doubt is holding you back, set an intention.
You can see your value in a new light by letting go of your old beliefs about what you are worth and replacing them with an attitude of earning as much as possible.
Tangible Action Points you can start from Today
Build a strong network:
You should build a strong network of advisors, and peers who can offer guidance, support, and resources.
This network can help you overcome challenges, learn new skills, and make important business connections.
Also, collaborate with other businesses to expand your reach and build your brand.
Develop a growth mindset:
You should adopt a growth mindset and be open to learning new things, taking risks, and embracing failure as a learning opportunity.
This mindset can help you overcome self-doubt and build confidence.
You should leverage technology to automate and streamline your business processes, reach a wider audience, and improve your productivity.
You can use tools such as social media, online marketing platforms, and project management software to grow your business.
Seek out funding and support:
You should seek out funding and support from organizations and initiatives that are dedicated to promoting women's entrepreneurship.
These organizations can provide access to funding, training, and networking opportunities.
Be assertive and confident when pitching your ideas, if you won’t advocate for yourself then who will!
Find a mentor:
You will have ample time to make your own mistakes.
Until then, learn from someone else’s.
You should find a mentor who can offer guidance, support, and advice.
Learning from women who have been through the struggle can provide valuable lessons, offer encouragement and support.
P.S.- We interviewed five fempreneurs for this International Women’s Day about their struggles. You can listen to how they overcame their struggles here.
Is taking risks as a woman entrepreneur worth it?
Taking risks now and then is an integral part of entrepreneurship.
Don't let the fear of failure hold you back.
Embrace failure as a learning opportunity; this is your stepping stone to growth and success.
Be prepared, and take calculated risks; it will all seem worth it in the end!
When you add the factor of gender, taking risks becomes vital!
It will help you break through cultural stereotypes and gender bias while challenging the status quo and creating innovative and unique businesses.
You have the potential to achieve great things and make a real difference in the business world.
Today, we boast ample women entrepreneurs, but their journeys have been a hell of a ride.
With conscious efforts and cumulative support, this journey can become smoother.
We tend to shine brighter when we work together!