Even though the change in time has seen women owning over 310 million businesses, recent research shows that they still face distinct pressure when pursuing their business ideas, whether to start-up or scale-up.
Here are five everyday encounters that limit women from success:
- The inability to successfully acquire enough funding for their businesses
Traditionally, women don’t own property and are considered a big financial risk for financial contributors, donors and lenders. Although banks and venture capitalists are changing their attitude towards lending women to level up their credibility, there is still a gap in how far this act can be accomplished. You will find that higher collateral is still placed on female borrowers, making them fear business loans.
- Little or no support system from close associates
Besides financial and professional support, women also need moral support from their close family members and friends to excel. More than 30% of women are reported to have hit rock-bottom due to lack of mentorship. A woman can be willing to start a business but cannot because of family responsibilities, making it impossible to allocate time for running their business. A household with children depends on the woman to take care of them, making it hard to spare good time for her business. For instance, a “Mama Mboga” will easily lose most of her clients if she has to fully care for her babies while selling groceries. Society needs to embrace the fact that women are promising entrepreneurs and can compete well if they are supported.
- Lack of critical business information for business growth and start-ups
Accessing market networks with accurate and essential information is a challenge. In this male-domineering field, women are denied access to digital media forums by their spouses or other business people due to social-cultural beliefs. The business world is changing and now embraces businesswomen. However, sensitisation still needs to be done. Imagine requesting an Uber or Bolt, and a female driver arrives at your location on time and serves you well beyond your expectation. Wouldn’t that be exciting?
- Being a “Woman”
“This is NOT a woman’s business. You can’t handle this or that blah blah blah, … Such are the comments you hear publicly when you join a male-dominated business venture. Being a woman automatically sets you up at a disadvantage of being bullied. Many businesswomen have quit their thriving businesses due to this fact. Although women naturally want to prove society wrong, too much criticism prompts them to pull out and invest their time elsewhere where they feel appreciated, thereby being termed as failures.
Women are afraid. The African Society has taught them to be timid and meek leading to low self-esteem and no confidence. They need an encouraging and affirmative figure, which in most cases is a male. You will find a great female painter who hides her work until a brother, a son, or a father affirms it.
Female-faced challenges have real and practical solutions, only that they will take time to actualise and achieve their purpose. It’s also crucial for women to take the lead role in sensitisation.
Sources: YoungMogul, hult, europeanbusinessreview, entrepreneur, topmba, commitbiz, carolroth