How can women entrepreneurs overcome common hurdles in business?
A successful leader is one who inspires, motivates, mentors, and directs others toward a higher goal. It is proven that women are excellent leaders and serve as noteworthy examples of inspiration and guidance to the young generation of our country. According to reports women comprise 13.76% of the total entrepreneurs in India and are enhancing India's economic growth and generating employment.
India has a significant presence in the world today due to the many entrepreneurs and businesses that have helped in the country's growth. Women entrepreneurs are playing an integral role in it. When we speak about the balanced development of our country, we certainly cannot miss out on the critical contributions of women entrepreneurs. Accepting every challenge, today, women have been able to build their reputed identity, thus showcasing what women's empowerment is. Women entrepreneurs from all backgrounds and age groups have been smashing stereotypes and shattering the glass ceiling, making a name for themselves in the business scene. According to Forbes India, more than 20% of MSMEs are owned by women entrepreneurs, amounting to 23.3% of the workforce.
However, building a successful business is hard work, since success has no shortcuts! And, even though women entrepreneurs are getting support to share equal responsibilities professionally from their partners, there is still a long way ahead. For many women, success seems to come at a higher price than others because of various factors like lack of funding for women entrepreneurs and work-life balance. Here are some ways women entrepreneurs have overcome common hurdles in business and how you can too!
As a woman entrepreneur, one might feel stressed due to the dual responsibilities of family and business. Entrepreneurs who are parents might find it specifically tricky, but creating a schedule works wonders for achieving work-life balance. It allows one to devote adequate time to both aspects of your life without compromising. It is also vital to focus on your health and take breaks as and when required to prevent burnout. Setting boundaries and goals is significant. You can be a supportive manager by understanding the needs of your employees and setting a good and healthy example for them.
Find a support system
Entrepreneurship can often feel lonely, but you shouldn't have to go through it alone. To achieve entrepreneurial success, it is crucial to have a robust support system. As a woman entrepreneur, you already have tremendous support from other business owners. Not only this, but you can also find many support groups and communities for women in business online. Such circles create safe spaces for businesswomen from all walks of life to share the obstacles they have faced while also providing other tools of guidance such as financing options, mentorships, inspiration, and more.
While we have made significant progress concerning workplace equality, we cannot undermine the role of self-doubt and fear that can play in one's life. Any entrepreneur of any gender needs to develop a sincere and determined belief in what they are doing. There will always be days or moments when insecurity creeps in. Still, it is with perseverance and confidence that you can overcome this and genuinely define yourself as a businesswoman.
Own your accomplishments
Very often, young girls are encouraged to develop qualities that would downplay their value as a leader. While many may feel that using the first person to talk about success may sound like they are bragging, it truly takes an effort to own what you have accomplished. Some might also feel that if they take complete ownership of the work, its value might reduce significantly. However, that must not be the case. Women today must recognize the value of their ideas and creativity. Confidence is critical, whether in a boardroom full of men or by yourself in your workplace.
Acknowledge that failure is part of the process
While beginner's luck exists, that is not the end. Acknowledging failure is essential, as it is an inevitable part of the business. One must celebrate failure since it will lead to you the things that succeed. Failures help you learn and make you work harder and better next time.
Lack of representation and role models
With a day-by-day increase in female representation in business, we cannot deny that it remains male-dominated. Women, to date, have yet to have an extended and rich network of mentors, role models, and supporters that men enjoy. In such a situation, the best thing to do as a woman entrepreneur is to advocate for yourself and others like you. Find other women who inspire you. Build your network with like-minded women who can connect with and support you.
Entrepreneurship by itself is a challenge, especially if you are a woman. Female business owners tend to struggle more when compared to their male counterparts. Despite the numerous hurdles women have faced in business, many of them, such as Indra Nooyi, Namita Thapar, Falguni Nayar, and Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, have risen in the face of challenges and built their industries. The journey of these women and countless others inspires us to break the glass ceiling and learn from these role models. We must understand that gender is not a hurdle to achieving success and making one's entrepreneurial dreams come true!
Edited by Anju Narayanan