Entrepreneurship development in india

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  • 1. Entrepreneurship Development in India1.1 Introduction –There are so many institutes and organizations which are involved in entrepreneurshipdevelopment activities and there are people who join these programmes as a steppingstone to become entrepreneur. It is a known fact that so many management institutesare coming up to cater to the growing need of industries by supplying traditionalmanagers/corporate managers. The scope of this study is to find out the perception ofmanagement students about the entrepreneurship and compare it with those peoplewho have become entrepreneur. The researcher feels that this study will reveal thefacts which are important to develop entrepreneurship as a career option amongmanagement students.A manager is one who manages all the resources to match with the organizationalneeds. In the managerial role resources are allocated to solve problems and improvethe administrative efficiency.The entrepreneurship is very a old concept according to which any one who runsbusiness is called an entrepreneur. The more precise meaning of entrepreneur is; onewho perceives a need and then brings together manpower, material and capitalrequired to meet that need.Entrepreneur is one who understands the market dynamics and searches for changerespond to it and exploit it as an opportunity.1.2 The Evolution of EntrepreneurshipThe word „entrepreneur‟ is derived from the French verb „enterprendre‟. It means “toundertake”.11For a compilation of definitions, Robert C. Ronstadt, Entrepreneurship (Dover, MA: LordPublishing,1984),p.28; Howard H. Stevenson and David E. Gumpert, "The Heart ofEntrepreneurship," HarvardBusiness Review (March/April 1985):p.85-94; and J. Barton Cunningham and JoeLischeron, "DefiningEntrepreneurship: Journal of Small Business Management (January 1991): p.45-61.2The Frenchmen who organized and led military expeditions were referred to as“entrepreneurs”.Around 1700 A.D. the term was used for architects and contractor of public works.In many countries, the term entrepreneur is often associated with a person who startshis own new business. Business encompasses manufacturing, transport, trade and allother self employed vocation in the service sector.Entrepreneurship has been considered as the propensity of mind to take calculatedrisk with confidence to achieve predetermined business objectives.There are many views and opinions on the concept of entrepreneurship forwarded bysome of the world famous management gurus and economists as mentioned belowwhich will help in understanding this concept.Entrepreneurs 2012 is the biggest business and entrepreneurial event of 2012!
  • 2. President Bill Clinton leads a dazzling array of inspirational leaders from acrossthe world of business, politics and entertainment.Entrepreneurs 2012 will transform your life and allow you to achieve financial andprofessional freedom.Look out for great competitions and networking events taking place before andduring the event.With a range of tickets there’s certain to be a package that’s right for you. Mallika Srinivasan, currently the Director TAFE India, was honored with the title of Businesswoman of the Year during 2006 by the Economic Times. She joined the company in 1986 and has since been responsible for accelerating turnover from 85 crores to 2900 crores within a span of two decades. Mallika has an MBA from Wharton School of Business, Pennsylvania.IntroductionWomen Entrepreneurs may be defined as the women or a group of women whoinitiate, organize and operate a business enterprise. Government of India has definedwomen entrepreneurs as an enterprise owned and controlled by a women having aminimum financial interest of 51% of the capital and giving at least 51% ofemployment generated in the enterprise to women. Like a male entrepreneurs awomen entrepreneur has many functions. They should explore the prospects ofstarting new enterprise; undertake risks, introduction of new innovations,coordination administration and control of business and providing effective leadershipin all aspects of business.Push-Pull factors and Women in businessWomen in business are a recent phenomenon in India. By and large they had confidethemselves to petty business and tiny cottage industries. Women entrepreneursengaged in business due to push and pull factors. Which encourage women to havean independent occupation and stands on their on legs. A sense towards independentdecision-making on their life and career is the motivational factor behind this urge.Saddled with household chores and domestic responsibilities women want to getindependence Under the influence of these factors the women entrepreneurs choosea profession as a challenge and as an urge to do some thing new. Such situation isdescribed as pull factors. While in push factors women engaged in business activitiesdue to family compulsion and the responsibility is thrust upon them.Problems of Women Entrepreneurs in IndiaWomen in India are faced many problems to get ahead their life in business. A fewproblems cane be detailed as;
  • 3. 1. The greatest deterrent to women entrepreneurs is that they are women. A kind ofpatriarchal – male dominant social order is the building block to them in their waytowards business success. Male members think it a big risk financing the venturesrun by women.2. The financial institutions are skeptical about the entrepreneurial abilities ofwomen. The bankers consider women loonies as higher risk than men loonies. Thebankers put unrealistic and unreasonable securities to get loan to womenentrepreneurs. According to a report by the United Nations Industrial DevelopmentOrganization (UNIDO), "despite evidence that womens loan repayment rates arehigher than mens, women still face more difficulties in obtaining credit," often due todiscriminatory attitudes of banks and informal lending groups (UNIDO, 1995b).3. Entrepreneurs usually require financial assistance of some kind to launch theirventures - be it a formal bank loan or money from a savings account. Women indeveloping nations have little access to funds, due to the fact that they areconcentrated in poor rural communities with few opportunities to borrow money(Starcher, 1996; UNIDO, 1995a). The women entrepreneurs are suffering frominadequate financial resources and working capital. The women entrepreneurs lackaccess to external funds due to their inability to provide tangible security. Very fewwomen have the tangible property in hand.4. Womens family obligations also bar them from becoming successfulentrepreneurs in both developed and developing nations. "Having primaryresponsibility for children, home and older dependent family members, few womencan devote all their time and energies to their business" (Starcher, 1996, p. 8).Thefinancial institutions discourage women entrepreneurs on the belief that they can atany time leave their business and become housewives again. The result is that theyare forced to rely on their own savings, and loan from relatives and family friends.5. Indian women give more emphasis to family ties and relationships. Marriedwomen have to make a fine balance between business and home. More over thebusiness success is depends on the support the family members extended to womenin the business process and management. The interest of the family members is adeterminant factor in the realization of women folk business aspirations.6. Another argument is that women entrepreneurs have low-level managementskills. They have to depend on office staffs and intermediaries, to get things done,especially, the marketing and sales side of business. Here there is more probabilityfor business fallacies like the intermediaries take major part of the surplus or profit.Marketing means mobility and confidence in dealing with the external world, both ofwhich women have been discouraged from developing by social conditioning. Evenwhen they are otherwise in control of an enterprise, they often depend on males ofthe family in this area.7. The male - female competition is another factor, which develop hurdles to womenentrepreneurs in the business management process. Despite the fact that womenentrepreneurs are good in keeping their service prompt and delivery in time, due tolack of organisational skills compared to male entrepreneurs women have to faceconstraints from competition. The confidence to travel across day and night and evendifferent regions and states are less found in women compared to maleentrepreneurs. This shows the low level freedom of expression and freedom of
  • 4. mobility of the women entrepreneurs.8. Knowledge of alternative source of raw materials availability and high negotiationskills are the basic requirement to run a business. Getting the raw materials fromdifferent souse with discount prices is the factor that determines the profit margin.Lack of knowledge of availability of the raw materials and low-level negotiation andbargaining skills are the factors, which affect women entrepreneurs businessadventures.9. Knowledge of latest technological changes, know how, and education level of theperson are significant factor that affect business. The literacy rate of women in Indiais found at low level compared to male population. Many women in developingnations lack the education needed to spur successful entrepreneurship. They areignorant of new technologies or unskilled in their use, and often unable to doresearch and gain the necessary training (UNIDO, 1995b, p.1). Although greatadvances are being made in technology, many womens illiteracy, strucuturaldifficulties, and lack of access to technical training prevent the technology from beingbeneficial or even available to females ("Women Entrepreneurs in Poorest Countries,"2001). According to The Economist, this lack of knowledge and the continuingtreatment of women as second-class citizens keeps them in a pervasive cycle ofpoverty ("The Female Poverty Trap," 2001). The studies indicates that uneducatedwomen donot have the knowledge of measurement and basic accounting.10. Low-level risk taking attitude is another factor affecting women folk decision toget into business. Low-level education provides low-level self-confidence and self-reliance to the women folk to engage in business, which is continuous risk taking andstrategic cession making profession. Investing money, maintaining the operationsand ploughing back money for surplus generation requires high risk taking attitude,courage and confidence. Though the risk tolerance ability of the women folk in day-to-day life is high compared to male members, while in business it is found oppositeto that.11. Achievement motivation of the women folk found less compared to malemembers. The low level of education and confidence leads to low level achievementand advancement motivation among women folk to engage in business operationsand running a business concern.12. Finally high production cost of some business operations adversely affects thedevelopment of women entrepreneurs. The installation of new machineries duringexpansion of the productive capacity and like similar factors dissuades the womenentrepreneurs from venturing into new areas.Challenges1. We Care Too MuchI believe our biggest challenge, but also our biggest opportunity is the fact that we care too much. Mostwomen entrepreneurs I have come across over the years are very compassionate and caring peopleand we just dont have it in us to be "cut-throat, do whatever it takes to get to the top". We chooseentrepreneurship because it gives us the freedom to spend time with our families, take the kids to thepark after school etc. If you ask me, thats a small price to pay for a bit less success.Thanks to: Susanne Myers of EasyLinkLove.com.
  • 5. 2. Superwoman is a Myth!Many women try to be all things to all people. You CAN "have it all," but that doesnt mean you canhave it all right now, this second, all at once! Learning the Universal Law of Proper Perspective isimportant ... know the PURPOSE for your goals, learn what is most important to do first, learn whenyou have given a person or a project all the attention it needs and its time to move your attentionelsewhere. Its essential to spend quality time daily in meditation to nurture your inner Self.Overcoming Challenges Facing Women in BusinessAll business owners face certain challenges, but women, because of their gender, often have additionalchallenges and obstacles that their male peers are less likely to encounter. Working women who havechildren experience even more demands on time, energy and resources.But this does not mean women are less successful than men, in fact, statistics show that women arestarting businesses at more than twice the rate of male-majority-owned businesses. The growing successrate of women entrepreneurs shows that they are resourceful, and able to succeed, despite the odds.There are three major areas where women business owners may face challenges, less common to men inbusiness:1. Gender Discrimination and Stereotyping2. Dual Career-Family Pressures3. Lack of Equal Opportunities in Certain IndustriesSuccessful Indian Women EntrepreneursEvery corporate environment is said to have a ‘glass ceiling’ when it comes to women moving up theladder of success. However, these go-getters have surely proved this notion wrong by achieving successthrough sheer hard work and dedication.Profiling some of the top 10 women entrepreneurs India has seen –Indra Nooyi
  • 6. Strong-willed, with an acute acumen for financial strategizing, Nooyi is the CFO and Presidentof PepsiCo. Her strong acumen for business has helped the company garner as much as 30billion dollars worth of crucial deals within the last couple of years. With a Masters Degree inPublic Management from Yale University and Masters in Finance and Marketing from IIM,Kolkata, Nooyi held several senior positions at Motorola and Asea Brown Boveri before joiningPepsiCo.Naina Lal Kidwa From being Head of Investment Banking at ANZ Grindlays during 1982-1994 to Vice Chairman JM Morgan Stanley, Naina Lal Kidwai is one of the most successful and famous Indian businesswomen of today. The first Indian woman to graduate from the elite Harvard Business School, she is currently Country Head and Group General Manager HSBC Group India. Apart from working at HSBC, Kidwai has also held other eminent positions such as that of Global Advisor, Harvard Business School, non-executive director at Nestle SA and as a member of Governing Board NCAER, Auditor General of India and several other positions. Naina has received the distinguished Padma Shri award for her contributions in the segment of Trade and Industry. Naina Lal Kidwai – one of the most successful Indian women entrepreneurs (Image: http://www.iloveindia.com/indian-heroes/naina-lal- kidwai.html)Kiran Mazumdar Shaw Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is one of the richest women in India studied zoology at Bangalore University and brewery at Ballarat University. She started her career as trainee brewer at Carlton & United Beverages in 1974. Four years later she started her own company, Biocon, in her garage with an investment of Rs 10000. Three issues –biotechnology was nascent at the time in India, she was a woman and her organization had almost nil assets – made financial institutions turn down her loan application. However, with hard work and commitment, Shaw transformed Biocon into one of the leading biopharmaceutical firms in India.
  • 7. Women & Entrepreneurship In India [Survey Results]As a woman running a start-up, and as a member of a few entrepreneur communities, I sometimes getthe feeling that every second woman I know is starting a business. As a website telling the storyof contemporary Indian women, naturally we were very keen to examine this phenomenon.What is driving so many women to start businesses? What challenges do they face? What helpsthem succeed? Does gender enter the entrepreneur’s mind at all? These were some of the questionsthat led us to conduct the Women’s Web Women & Entrepreneurship in India 2012 Study.Women entrepreneurs in India: Who, where, how big?A significant chunk (58%) of the entrepreneurs we surveyed had started their businesses between the agesof 20 and 30; interestingly, 25% had started up even before turning 25. It raises the possibility of at leastsome women starting up businesses without first holding a job, right after their education. As expected, mostwere either graduates or post-graduates.Which cities are producing India’s women entrepreneurs?Bangalore leads all other cities head and shoulders in the presence of women entrepreneurs. Kolkata is theonly absentee large metro (tucked away under ‘others’), with all the others such as Chennai, the NationalCapital Region (NCR), Pune, Mumbai and Hyderabad figuring in the list.
  • 8. As for industry type, Professional services, IT/ITES, Apparel/accessories and Food & Beverages are thefour major sectors in which women own businesses (59% of those surveyed).The majority of women-owned businesses are micro-enterprises or small/mid-sized businesses, with73% reporting a revenue of under Rs.10,00,000 (Rs. Ten lakh or One million) in the last financial year.Corresponding to this, the majority had under 5 employees (71%).Women starting businesses: Motivation and capital
  • 9. 57% of women entrepreneurs had started their businesses alone, while 35% had a co-founder and 8% werepart of teams that involved more than 2 co-founders.What drove women to start businesses? The opportunity to work more creatively and the perceived benefitof being one’s own boss were the top reasons chosen. While work-life balance was also chosen (by 36%),that was not the biggest reason for women turning entrepreneurs, as is commonly perceived.60% of women entrepreneurs started their business with a capital of under Rs.1,00,000, and personalfunds and savings were used to start the business in a majority of cases. However, 30% of those surveyedstated that they had used more 1 source of funding.
  • 10. Women entrepreneurs in India: Challenges, support, joys, goalsWe asked women entrepreneurs to pick their challenges, both at the time of starting up and at present;they are not the same. Financial and Marketing related challenges emerge as the top pick at both times.People challenges however are stronger at present than while starting up indicating that as teams grow, sodo the challenges associated with them. Personal challenges (bandwidth/time management) however,drastically taper off suggesting that women’s confidence in their own abilities as entrepreneurs has grownwith the experience.
  • 11. As for support in their entrepreneurial journey, besides friends and family (the top choices), the growingimportance of the entrepreneurial community is reflected in the fact that 26% mentioned other entrepreneursand entrepreneur groups. 23% also mentioned mentors and advisors.Perhaps my personal favourite among all the charts that emerged from this survey is the one below. Whenasked what was the biggest benefit they had derived from starting up their businesses, this is what womenhad to say.
  • 12. On the question of goals, the majority chose growth and profitability related goals (81 and 53%respectively). This may not directly answer the question of whether women entrepreneurs want to scale uptheir businesses or not, but it does indicate that women’s businesses are not just hobbies or ‘lifestylebusinesses’, as sometimes alleged.
  • 13. We received a total of 107 responses on what would help them achieve these goals, and the ones listedmost often were recruiting skilled people (21%) and funding or financial support (20%).Gender & EntrepreneurshipFinally, we asked our respondents to consider the question of entrepreneurship through the prism of gender.What did they believe? In short: Yes, it is harder to start a business if you are a woman (55%). Yes, knowingother women who run businesses is a big support (73%). Yes, being a woman impacts decisions on how
  • 14. large/fast the business should grow (52%). On the question of whether a female mentor was better forwomen entrepreneurs, opinion was more divided.The Women’s Web Women & Entrepreneurship in India 2012 Study has been a great opportunity for us tolook inside this wonderful, brave world of women pushing the boundaries. I would like to thank here themany people and groups who helped us by sharing it with their networks, especially The Hatch, YourStory, The Open Coffee Club, Bangalore,the HEN network and bloggers KanupriyaSindhu and Unmana.Women entrepreneurship in India:A recent survey titled Women & Entrepreneurship in India 2012 Study by Women’s Web interviewed morethan 100 women entrepreneurs in India and put together an interesting set of statistics. Most of therespondents were owners of small to medium sized businesses, a majority of which reported sub 10 lakhrevenue.The survey pointed out that Bangalore seemed to be the nation’s top incubator for womenentrepreneurs as most of the respondents were based in the city. Kiran M Shaw, Chairman and MD ofBiocon, was recently ranked 2nd most powerful woman CEO in India. She is also from Bangalore. Delhi,Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune and Ahmedabad followed. Interestingly, Kolkata was absent from thetop metros in which women entrepreneurs in India were based. It was the only metro to be clubbed with therest of cities in India.
  • 15. Nearly 6 out of 10 respondents said that their businesses were in the areas of Professional Services, IT,Apparels or F&B. The rest tail ended into other sectors including Travel, Media, Health and Manufacturing.Statistics also showed that most women entrepreneurs from this survey had small to medium sizedbusinesses and more than 70% had less than 5 employees working for them.So why did these women take up entrepreneurship as opposed to the traditionally accepted pathway tosuccess – Get a degree, get a job and work your way to the top?The survey points out two major reasons which had lured the respondents to join the entrepreneurshipbandwagon. 75% of them believed that they had a creative idea that needed to be taken to the market placeand 60% felt the need to be their own boss.
  • 16. Last but definitely the most inspirational finding for budding young to-be entrepreneurs is the fact that 60% ofthese respondents started with a capital of less than 1 lakh. Personal savings, loans from friends and familyand loans from external parties emerged as the top 3 sources of funding. Not surprisingly, finance was themost important challenge and roadblock these women entrepreneurs faced.Recently, Dell Women’s Global Entrepreneurship Study interviewed 450 women entrepreneurs in US,UK and India. It reported that India was one of the most favourable places for women entrepreneurs to setup shop. The study pegged businesses owned by women entrepreneurs to grow up to 90% in the next 5years. In comparison, similar businesses in US and UK were expected to grow by 50% and 24% in US andUK in the same time period.The Challenges Faced By Women Entrepreneurs1. We Care Too MuchI believe our biggest challenge, but also our biggest opportunity is the fact that we care too much. Mostwomen entrepreneurs I have come across over the years are very compassionate and caring peopleand we just dont have it in us to be "cut-throat, do whatever it takes to get to the top". We chooseentrepreneurship because it gives us the freedom to spend time with our families, take the kids to thepark after school etc. If you ask me, thats a small price to pay for a bit less success.Thanks to: Susanne Myers of EasyLinkLove.com.
  • 17. 2. Superwoman is a Myth! Many women try to be all things to all people. You CAN "have it all," but that doesnt mean you can have it all right now, this second, all at once! Learning the Universal Law of Proper Perspective is important ... know the PURPOSE for your goals, learn what is most important to do first, learn when you have given a person or a project all the attention it needs and its time to move your attention elsewhere. Its essential to spend quality time daily in meditation to nurture your inner Self. Overcoming Challenges Facing Women in Business How Women Can Overcome Business Challenges Women often have life skills and natural abilities that are useful in businesses. Women tend to be great networkers, have inherent skills for negotiating, and the ability to multi-task. Single mothers are often good at delegating and budgeting; skills that they rely on to manage their families. Specific strategies to help women entrepreneurs succeed include:• Create a Strong Network• Consider Certifying as a Women-Owned Business• Understand the Power of the Internet• Learn New Ways to Balance Work and Life• Get Inspiration and Advice From by Other Women Succeeding in Business• Womens Business News: Stay current on issues the present challenges for women in business, and read how other women overcome their own obstacles in the business world. What are the problems faced by Women Entrepreneur in India ? Women entrepreneurs face a series of problems right from the beginning till the the enterprise functions. Being a woman itself poses various problems to a woman entrepreneur, The problems of Indian women pertains to her responsibility towards family, society and lion work.
  • 18. The tradition, customs, socio cultural values, ethics, motherhood subordinates to ling husband andmen, physically weak, hard work areas, feeling of insecurity, cannot be tough etc are some peculiarproblems that the Indian women are coming across while they jump into entrepreneurship.Women in rural areas have to suffer still further. They face tough resistance from men. They areconsidered as helpers. The attitude of society towards her and constraints in which she has to live andwork are not very conducive.Besides the above basic problems the other problems faced by women entrepreneurs are as follows:1. Family ties:Women in India are very emotionally attached to their families. They are supposed to attend to all thedomestic work, to look after the children and other members of the family. They are over burden withfamily responsibilities like extra attention to husband, children and in laws which take away a lots oftheir time and energy. In such situation, it will be very difficult to concentrate and run the enterprisesuccessfully.2. Male dominated society:Even though our constitution speaks of equality between sexes, male chauvinism is still the order of theday. Women are not treated equal to men. Their entry to business requires the approval of the head ofthe family. Entrepreneurship has traditionally been seen as a male preserve. All these puts a break inthe growth of women entrepreneurs.3. Lack of education:Women in India are lagging far behind in the field of education. Most of the women (around sixty percent of total women) are illiterate. Those who are educated are provided either less or inadequateeducation than their male counterpart partly due to early marriage, partly due to sons highereducation and partly due to poverty. Due to lack of proper education, women entrepreneurs remain indark about the development of new technology, new methods of production, marketing and othergovernmental support which will encourage them to flourish.4. Social barriers:The traditions and customs prevailed in Indian societies towards women sometimes stand as anobstacle before them to grow and prosper. Castes and religions dominate with one another and hinderswomen entrepreneurs too. In rural areas, they face more social barriers. They are always seen withsuspicious eyes.5. Shortage of raw materials:The scarcity of raw materials, sometimes nor, availability of proper and adequate raw materials soundsthe death-knell of the enterprises run by women entrepreneurs. Women entrepreneurs really face atough task in getting the required raw material and other necessary inputs for the enterprises when theprices are very high.6. Problem of finance:
  • 19. Women entrepreneurs stiffer a lot in raising and meeting the financial needs of the business. Bankers,creditors and financial institutes are not coming forward to provide financial assistance to womenborrowers on the ground of their less credit worthiness and more chances of business failure. They alsoface financial problem due to blockage of funds in raw materials, work-in-progress finished goods andnon-receipt of payment from customers in time.7. Tough competition:Usually women entrepreneurs employ low technology in the process of production. In a market wherethe competition is too high, they have to fight hard to survive in the market against the organisedsector and their male counterpart who have vast experience and capacity to adopt advanced technologyin managing enterprises8. High cost of production:Several factors including inefficient management contribute to the high cost of production whichstands as a stumbling block before women entrepreneurs. Women entrepreneurs face technologyobsolescence due to non-adoption or slow adoption to changing technology which is a major factor ofhigh cost of production.9.Low risk-bearing capacity:Women in India are by nature weak, shy and mild. They cannot bear the amount risk which is essentialfor running an enterprise. Lack of education, training and financial support from outsides also reducetheir ability to bear the risk involved in an enterprises.10 Limited mobility:Women mobility in India is highly limited and has become a problem due to traditional values andinability to drive vehicles. Moving alone and asking for a room to stay out in the night for businesspurposes are still looked upon with suspicious eyes. Sometimes, younger women feel uncomfortable indealing with men who show extra interest in them than work related aspects.11. Lack of entrepreneurial aptitude:Lack of entrepreneurial aptitude is a matter of concern for women entrepreneurs. They have noentrepreneurial bent of mind. Even after attending various training programmes on entrepreneur shipwomen entrepreneurs fail to tide over the risks and troubles that may come up in an organisationalworking.12. Limited managerial ability:Management has become a specialised job which only efficient managers perform. Womenentrepreneurs are not efficient in managerial functions like planning, organising, controlling,coordinating, staffing, directing, motivating etc. of an enterprise. Therefore, less and limitedmanagerial ability of women has become a problem for them to run the enterprise successfully.13. Legal formalities:Fulfilling the legal formalities required for running an enterprise becomes an upheaval task on the partof an women entrepreneur because of the prevalence of corrupt practices in government offices and
  • 20. procedural delays for various licenses, electricity, water and shed allotments. In such situations womenentrepreneurs find it hard to concentrate on the smooth working of the enterprise.14. Exploitation by middle men:Since women cannot run around for marketing, distribution and money collection, they have to dependon middle men for the above activities. Middle men tend to exploit them in the guise of helping. Theyadd their own profit margin which result in less sales and lesser profit.15. Lack of self confidence:Women entrepreneurs because of their inherent nature, lack of self-confidence which is essentially amotivating factor in running an enterprise successfully. They have to strive hard to strike a balancebetween managing a family and managing an enterprise. Sometimes she has to sacrifice herentrepreneurial urge in order to strike a balance between the two.Entrepreneurship: 5 Challenges Facing Women EntrepreneursEntrepreneurship isn’t a walk in the park for anyone and it can be even morechallenging if you are of the “female persuasion”. Even with all of theadvancements that women have made in the business world, there is still a longway to go before the success rate is level between male and female entrepreneurs.While I don’t normally write about such gender-specific topics, I felt that thisissue was important for everyone, men included, to understand. I encourage all ofyou to truly support your female colleagues, family members and friends, so thatthese challenges can become a thing of the past.Below are some of the top challenges that female entrepreneurs need to overcomein general in order for woman-owned businesses to be more successful as a whole.*These are generalizations and obviously do not reflect all women.(1) Not Being Taken SeriouslyWithin the business world, women’s opinions and advice are not always viewed as“expert” compared to a man’s opinion. And when a female starts a business,sometimes family, friends, and others in the business community can view it as ahobby or a side project to family duties, rather than a bona fide business. Seekingout extra support can help to help overcome this bias, but women need to realizethat this is a true gender bias obstacle.(2) Letting Fear Stand in the WayIn general, women can be less prone to taking risks and can let their own fears(such as the fear of failure, fear of success, fear of being on their own etc.) stand inthe way of “going for it” and pursuing the path of entrepreneurship. Confidence is
  • 21. a great way to combat these fears and the best way to feel confident in what youare doing is to make sure that you are as prepared as possible before you start yourbusiness endeavor. Also, believe in what you bring to the table and value yourtime, efforts and capabilities.(3) Wanting to Please EveryoneFemales are often taught to “be nice” and “people pleasers”, which can lead toseeking the approval of others. Subsequently, women can have a harder timesaying “No”, which can lead to under-charging for their products/services or beingtoo giving of their time and help in general. This typically comes at the expense oftheir own needs, business or otherwise.(4) Wearing Too Many HatsIn their personal lives, women have a tendency to try to be everything to everyoneand wear so many different hats that juggling everything becomes very difficult.So, when women add “entrepreneur” and “business owner” into the mix, thistendency is further magnified. Women can feel like they have to “do it forthemselves” or are the best person for every job and have a tougher timedelegating responsibilities to others. This causes more time to be spent working intheir business, rather than on their business. This is a major hurdle to overcome inorder to have a successful business.(5) Not Being Able to “Toot Your Own Horn”Being able to speak about your accomplishments honestly and with pride is anecessity for a successful business owner or entrepreneur. Sometimes, women feeluncomfortable talking about their achievements and may feel like they arebragging or being too boastful. But your achievements and accomplishments aresome of the biggest selling points your business has, so don’t be afraid to put themout there!Overcoming these 5 challenges will help put you on a path toward a moresuccessful business.What other challenges do you think face women in particular?Thanks to Crystal Coleman of Northern Edge Business Solutions, Bernice Dickeyof My #1 Is Still My #1!, Sandie Glass of Sandstorm Inc, Carol Margolis of SmartWomen Travelers, Inc, and Vicki Donlan ofVickiDonlan for the inspiration behindsome of these ideas.