4 Challenges Female Entrepreneurs Face
As a female, you have to contend with a wide range of challenges in business and your personal life. Whether you’re freelancing as a certified medical scribe, trying to start a FinTech business, or launching a new neighborhood boutique, you’re part of the 11 million female-owned businesses in the U.S. facing these challenges. The great news is that there’s never been a time more ideal to be a female entrepreneur than right now. Still, you should understand what these challenges are. And how you can overcome them when you’re inevitably faced with one on your journey as a female entrepreneur. Keep on reading to find out more.
Defying Social Expectations
The fact of the matter is that navigating any industry as a woman can be unnerving. At every business meeting, you’ll be faced with gender stereotypes. The clutches of society’s expectations are likely to follow you into most boardrooms. It’s easy to find yourself contemplating making changes to who you are to appear more aggressive and competitive like your male counterparts. However, defying social expectations could set you apart in a positive way. The best way to rise above the preconceived expectations about yourself is to remain faithful to who you are. Most importantly, finding your own voice (not the same ones as your colleagues) is a crucial strategy to grow above and pursue your business ambitions and goals.
Access to Funding
You’d be surprised to find that, according to research, there are an estimated 3% of venture capital companies that have female CEOs. Venture companies are responsible for funding many start-up companies. Yet, the people who head the funding portfolios are most likely to support businesses run by people who belong to their business or social groups. This means that when you’re a female entrepreneur, your chances of access to funding your venture decrease significantly due to lack of representation. Therefore, as a female business owner, you should consider looking at other alternatives to help fund your business plan.
Having a Support Network
If you want to go far as an entrepreneur, you need a solid support network. This is usually in the form of advisors and mentors that provide you with essential business advice to get you ahead. Yet, approximately 48% of female CEOs and founders have reported nearly impossible access to these resources. If you’re a female business owner, this lack of a robust support network limits your professional growth compared to your male competitor.
Balancing Business and Personal Life
If you’re a female entrepreneur and a parent, you have two very different, but important sets of responsibilities. If you want to achieve an elusive work-life balance, you have to find a way to devote your time to both in an equally dedicated manner. In some cases, this requires you to make sacrifices sometimes with your availability. But this doesn’t mean that you should limit your ambitions to what society expects from you. Nowadays, there are various ways to achieve your work-life balance effectively while meeting all your goals. Find a mentor. Join a women’s entrepreneur group. There are lots of resources available.
In summary, there are many challenges you have to worry about when you’re pursuing the life of a female entrepreneur. The odds are stacked against you. But being aware of these challenges can bring light to what you can do to overcome them.