Women entrepreneurs and their mantra for survival in an economic environment that is anti-investment
In the current post-pandemic world, there has been a vast increase in women entrepreneurs and women-led enterprises, which is undeniably pleasing to hear, however; women observed the same prejudices, and a lack of opportunities to secure funding in the business world that have existed for decades now.
Individuals have stated several reasons to justify this enormous gap in the difference of securing an investment for men and women, but in the modern world it is not only important to nurture an inclusive environment, but necessary to do so. Women make up half the population, creating relevant and relatable products to cater to this market could be done better by nobody other than women themselves.
In addition to these obstacles, another problem faced by women entrepreneurs is the evident lack of role models and accomplished women to look up to in many male-dominated industries, this further adds to the problem, slowing down the incorporation of diversity and equality in many such industries. These are few aspects where I see tremendous potential for positive and profitable change, not only for women but men too.
Personal experience with the anti-investment economic environment for women
On several occasions, I’ve noticed how the current outlook and mindset towards women in business and corporate settings makes it even more difficult for women to progress in a particular field.
When I started my business journey in corporate merchandising, my job required me to work closely with brand managers, and I distinctly remember how challenging it was to get a meeting with the junior most marketing manager of a particular company. I was made to jump through countless hurdles, that in all honesty, I believed to be meaningless for a simple meeting with a junior marketing manager.
The point I’m making here is that women often must do much more to prove their worth to succeed in the business world.
Similarly; I once applied for a loan, and even approached several angel investors to help finance an experience store I wanted to launch, to my surprise, I wasn’t asked questions regarding my brand and business capabilities, but I was greeted with questions such as “Ma’am you have a three-year-old child at home, do you believe that you will have enough time to focus on your business?” The gender bias undertone has been loud and clear in almost every business interaction I’ve had so far in my business journey.
However, I’m happy to say that I’ve noticed a gradual change and acceptance towards women in the business world, and a change in corporate culture and workspace inclusivity is evident as well.
Overcoming biases towards women entrepreneurs
As slow and sometimes futile as this process might seem, there are a few ways we can all contribute towards an inclusive and equal environment for female entrepreneurs and women-led businesses:
Firstly, we can encourage and support girls from a young age to take up positions of leadership and change the old-school gender constructs to support a modern mindset towards this issue; both for boys and girls.
Secondly, existing female entrepreneurs can be more outspoken and visible in the public eye, to show young girls that there are individuals in accomplished and successful positions they can relate to and look up to for inspiration and assurance.
Lastly, men in leadership and impactful positions can hire capable female talent to impact and relate to women via different aspects of business such as sales, marketing etc. this will also enable female talent to learn and grow in the workplace and eventually help other women do the same.
Progress and healthy development is a slow but steady process if the right intentions and goals are in place. However, an inspiring mantra is undoubtedly one of the greatest tools to make it through struggle; mine is perseverance. Regardless of the circumstances, I would advise female entrepreneurs and young girls alike to remember this word and remind themselves that perseverance will be the key to success of any kind.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)
Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan