What’s Stopping You? 7 Start-Up Challenges Facing the Entrepreneurial Woman

Women are often hindered to turn their ideas into business because of many factors, and acknowledging them is the first step to overcoming them.

If only passion is enough to start a business! We women can pack a lot of passion into anything we do. However, while it accounts for a very big fraction of what is needed in creating a business; it isn’t enough to make things happen. Whether you have a big idea you want to turn into a big business or you’re a full time employee who wants to try to go freelance, if this is an idea that has been boiling in your mind, the question is: What’s stopping you?

“The Kids Need Me”

Many women are unable to even begin to consider the possibility of creating a business because of their role in the home. Whether a mom with three kids, or a single woman with dreams of having a family – the family guidance role is one that is accepted by women if not by nature, then by social stigma. Since starting a business is practically like having a new baby, there is good reason to be scared of taking that big first step.

Women have to understand that family pressures are slowly easing off. According to a study, men have become more and more actively involved in bringing up the children, and are not just boxed into the stigma of being a provider.  So if you are having doubts about starting that dream business, the best way to deal with it is to actually say something to your partner and discuss how you can support each other in your pursuits.


“I Don’t Know Where To Begin”

Dreams are not enough, you have to have skills to turn them into reality. Business chutzpah is unfortunately not everybody’s birthright. If you feel you have more to learn before you get complete confidence in starting a business, then get started with it! Many schools provide courses that will equip you with the fundamentals of a start-up. A lot of these institutions also have great tips shared over social media, just like the London School of Business and Finance Google+ page, where you can take both information and inspiration from.


“I Don’t Have Money “

While salaries are progressively getting closer, women are still not earning as much as men in the workforce, making it harder for them to save enough capital to get started on a business of their own. Geri Stengel, author of Forget the Glass Ceiling: Build Your Business Without One, also discusses why women have harder access to funding and a suggestion on how to overcome this challenge:

“Women face greater obstacles than men when starting and growing businesses, especially when it comes to receiving angel and venture capital. Though it might be unintentional, men fund people who look and sound just like them, and the consequences are just as harmful as if there was malicious aforethought. Don’t do it alone! [Seek] advice from a variety of sources, including co-founders, professional advisers such as accountants and lawyers, peer advisory groups, CEO mastermind groups, boards of advisers, and family members.”

“I Have No Time”

Women are characterized by a web, while men are represented by a straight line. Women are, both to their benefit and detriment, great multi-taskers. Men are more linear by nature, and look at progress in one straight line. Wearing too many hats can really create problems for someone who is about to start a business. If you don’t have time, frankly, the only way to go about this is to MAKE time. Free up your schedule or devote time to your new business. Proper time management is key, and it can be attained by checking your priorities and getting the support of family and friends that can help you unload the weight from your shoulders.


“I’m Afraid to Step on Any Toes”

Women are more community-oriented, and as such, tend to tread lightly when it comes to using contacts for business purposes. When women network, they mostly do so to create personal friendships than business opportunities. This is the opposite of how men commune in “boy’s clubs”, where friendships are treated as fraternities and each individual is someone that can be of use to them one way or another. We should start looking at friends as sources of opportunity, and not feel sheepish about asking for help or support. On the other hand, offering help should be something done more often.

I’ll Do It! Wait, No. Yes. Wait! Let Me Think About It.

Let’s cut to the chase: women are over-thinkers. This is why women cannot make decisions as easily and quickly as men. However, here’s a good way to look at it: scientists claim that men are more decisive, while women are more open-minded. While being open-minded is a great trait in business, deciding within a moment’s notice if something that can help a business look solid and also save it both valuable time and cost.


“It’s a Man’s World”

Women are usually held back by their own assumptions about the business world. They think and believe that it’s a man’s world, and get intimidated by it. Women have to realize that no one else can make thing happen but themselves, so they need to really put aside the fears and gender bias, and just go for it. As the quote goes: You are only confined by the walls you build yourself. So take down those walls, be your own number 1 fan, and watch the magic unfold.


Are you a female entrepreneur? What challenges did you encounter or currently encountering? Share it with us @mscareergirl.com

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.