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The entrepreneurial journey is full of challenges in itself. But women entrepreneurs not just have to face the problems of entrepreneurship but also of being a women entrepreneur. In the recent 5-10 years, the country has witnessed an impressive increase in women participation across many frontiers like an increased number of women in sports, army, managerial positions in corporate organizations, politics, etc.
Women in India have not only stepped into the corporate world but have also begun to make a mark in entrepreneurship. Women working in a corporate world get financial independence and growth, but entrepreneurship takes her into an altogether different world where not only does she get an opportunity to carve a notch for herself but can also make a substantial difference. However, many women nip their interests in the bud or give up their dream of becoming a businesswoman midway.
Obstacles in the Women entrepreneurial journey
Well, there are many reasons which present roadblocks in a woman’s entrepreneurial journey :
While a lot of women are breaking the shackles and moving out of their homes to work, setting up a business is still perceived to be a man’s domain. In the male-dominated society, women are not treated equally to men, which serves as a barrier to women’s entry into the business.
If you want to run a successful business, it’s essential for you to socialize within the entrepreneurial network so that you can build contacts and win customers. However, very few women can step out of their comfort zone. If they do socialize, it is restricted to their work, and they are not able to build relationships. This has a significant impact on the extent of visibility they have in the market and on the perception they make.
Finance is regarded as the ‘life-line’ for any business – be it big or small. However, women entrepreneurs suffer from a shortage of finance, mainly due to two significant reasons. Firstly, women generally do not have a property in their names, which they can pledge as collateral to obtain funds from external sources. Secondly, the banks also consider women less creditworthy and discourage women borrowers on the belief that they can leave their business at any time.
In India, looking after children and other members of the family is considered the sole responsibility of a married woman. Men play a secondary role in such circumstances. A married woman has to strike a delicate balance between her business and family. Due to her total involvement in family, she is left with no energy and time to devote to the business. Hence, it’s essential to understand that men are also quite capable of handling family responsibilities, and they should share such duties to resolve this obstacle.
Lack of Education
In India, around 30% of women are still illiterate. Due to a lack of qualitative education, women lack business, technology, and market knowledge. Also, the lack of training can lead to low achievement and demotivation among women. Thus, education is vital to set up the business and run it successfully.
Safety and Security
In today’s times, safety is probably the biggest hurdle for women in India. Due to the rise of social crime, women hesitate to take on roles that demand long hours and interactions with a world of strangers. However, a smiling face and a calm mind can quickly turn strangers into friends.
However, despite these obstacles that most women face in India, many have built successful businesses. Communicating with the family and thinking the business idea out with a long term sustainable plan can act as the key to success. Problems are part of the journey where you are continually pushing towards growth. So, it is crucial not to get discouraged by the number of challenges on the path but continue to take one step at a time and keep moving forward.
Remember that not all people will ever stand beside you, communicate well within the family to bring any friction from home to a minimal. Most important of all, developing a positive attitude goes a long way in being successful.