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Challenges Faced By Women Entrepreneurs While Starting A New Business

by Bani Banerjee
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Challenges Faced By Women Entrepreneurs While Starting A New Business | Womopreneur

In the wake of the prevalent feminism and women empowerment concepts running around the world, a reality check is as significant as is the regular checkup and maintenance of a machine. It would be apt to start with the validity testing of the growing women entrepreneurs. Starting a business is not a child’s play. But, women have some extra rocks to climb along with jumping over the general obstacles. 

For women, entrepreneurship is not just the common challenge faced by most entrepreneurs. The distinct challenges are added up to the already long staircase making it more arduous for women. Some of these challenges have been identified and listed below. Before that, let me take you to the boldness of certain significant personalities who made a mark on the world with their tremendous works despite the hardships of their lives. 

  • Madam C J Walker, the first-ever female entrepreneur meticulously built a career out of nothing for herself. Despite the harsh circumstances of her life, to which, the gender disparities add up, she built an entire empire by herself.   
  • Described as the real “slumdog millionaire”, Kalpana Saroj from India is one of the leading names in the list of women entrepreneurs. With her utmost determination and hard work, she steered the forlorn company to great heights. 
  • Steering through the difficult path, Oprah Winfrey is growing her venture each day and taking her business to higher altitudes making it to the top 10 America’s Self-made women’s list in 2019.

The list is neverending, eyeing the fact that now times have considerably changed. Gone are the times when women were seen as the caretakers of the household, the family, and the children. Women are nowadays leading the business industries and have set their foot in several industries like health, finance, education, etc. 

But, we need to recognize and consciously understand the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in the process of building that perfect business career. Here is a list of some of the common issues:

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Restricted fields of work

Since women have stepped into the business world much later than men, succeeding in the field comes with drawbacks of this delay. Women earlier were not seen as strong personalities who can handle the business or other corporate jobs with ease. Men, on the other hand, were supposedly treated as a priority for the field of business and management. This led to a gap in the comprehension of the abilities of women. After several years of struggle, exemplary endeavor, women still are not seen as being equally able to their counterparts. Women are repeatedly told, at various stages of their lives that they are not capable of doing a certain job or that the work is out of their league. 

Similarly, women are not seen as being competent in different fields of career. A woman might not be considered the best fit for the job of a technician. Likewise, several fields are not considered the right choice for women. This notion restricts the options for women to a shorter extent making it arduous for them to even choose the career. 

Personal life is a major obstacle

While it does not matter to the employers when a man is planning to get married, it is a substantial point of consideration for many of them when it comes to a woman. As per records, women were noticed to be quitting their jobs after getting married, the notion has made its way through the minds of the recruiters leading to a biased action that often goes against the hardworking women who are diligently dedicated to their jobs. 

Along with this, women might as well face the biological distresses of their body as in times of menstruation or during their pregnancy stages. All these factors become a determinant in the recruitment of women over men. Some employers resist accepting the fact that women can do tremendous jobs even after having these common issues and achieve their potential.

Family Restrictions 

The most commonly witnessed issue that women face worldwide is the manifestation of numerous family restrictions. These restrictions range from not allowing females to work in the field of business due to male dominance to not permitting the women to even move out and educate themselves in their field of interest. Even in the 21st century, the struggle of persuading family members against their will is real and very emotionally heightened with distress.

Lack of proper education

Though it seems a little weird and out of context in today’s time, but it is, unfortunately, true that girls are denied the prerequisites of higher education for commencing their business career even these days in some areas. And who knows, there might be some of those underprivileged girls who carry the potential to be the next billionaires possessing a tremendous amount of talent and devotion. 

According to world statistics, two-thirds of the world’s illiterate population is women. 

Lack of financial support 

Women are also burdened under the lack of financial backing by their near and dear ones. Changing the roles, if it’s a man, the family might not necessarily hesitate in giving the needed financial support. But for females, even humungous amounts of effort might not coax the family into them providing financial help. 

Before funding a female business aspirant, there runs a chain of complicated thoughts among the lenders questioning the ability of the woman, questioning her courage and devotion. This might not be the case with men, on the other hand. Their ideologies are easily put trust into. 

Getting investors is not an easy task for either men or women, but the point here is that, along with the stressful procedure of getting investors, women have to cross the additional hurdle of gender disparity. 

Competition with favoritism 

The battle of women is not limited to other candidates fighting in the field, rather, it is concentrated more upon the gender differences. There has always been some or the other kind of favoritism towards men when it comes to entrepreneurship. Women are not considered to be adept to participate in a healthy competition against their male counterparts. This preferential incline towards the other gender leaves the aspiring women hopeless and frantic. 

Disparate traits 

Spence and R L Helmreich, 2000 hypothesized that males and females can be distinguished based on a certain commonly found set of traits. They have addressed these as – expressive or feminine traits and instrumental or masculine traits. Under these traits, males are assigned stereotypically the traits such as assertiveness, independence, self-reliance, willingness to take the risk, etc. While on the other hand, feminine traits are quite the opposite of the above-mentioned. 

The above stated is an instance of how women are generally scrutinized and classified under the lower qualities. These predispositions lead to the rise of negative stereotypes which ultimately become the notions of minds and lead to an abstract vision of people. 

According to Megan Smyth, CEO and Co-founder of FitReserve, “While the numbers are growing, there are still too few female investors and startup entrepreneurs, which can make it more challenging to raise capital and find mentors,” as stated by Business News Daily.Concluding the text, Womopreneur would say that we must look at the pragmatic view of the world and alter our beliefs and attitudes towards women and accept their growth with an open heart and arms that are raised to help, not to stop the women! 

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