Women entrepreneurs are the next-age catalyst in shaping the Indian commercial space. They are highly talented, multitaskers, have a keen sense of business, and are hard-working. Yet, their numbers are low. According to a report published by the Initiative for What Works to Advance Women and Girls in the Economy (IWWAGE), only seven out of 100 entrepreneurs in India are women. And this is not because of a lack of wanting.
Truth be told, women entrepreneurs in India face multiple challenges in starting and managing a business. These challenges discourage them from operating their business, which either doesn’t start or wraps up soon after starting. Here’s a look at eight of the most common challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in India –
1. Responsibility towards their homes
Even after being career-oriented, women have a responsibility towards their homes. They constantly have to manage their work-life balance, which becomes challenging when they own their business. Women find it challenging to devote too much time to managing their business when their home and family demand their attention too.
2. Tough competition
The commercial space is still a male-dominated sector even though many women are trying to break the glass ceiling. Women entrepreneurs, thus, face a stiff challenge from their male counterparts, who are ready to pounce upon any female weakness which might hamper the business.
3. Gender bias
Even though society has evolved and men and women are called equal, a gender bias still exists. Despite the calls for women empowerment and female leadership, it is difficult for women to prove their mettle and get recognized for their efforts. Gender inequality, pay gap, and bias are common blockades that prevent women entrepreneurs from reaching the heights they deserve.
4. Risk-averse nature
Women, by nature, have an aversion to taking risks and experimentation. These two aspects are essential in starting and running a business. Snap decisions, experimental strategies, innovative changes, etc., are required to make the business stand out from the competition. Not many women tend to master these arts as they involve risk and uncertainty, traits that women tend to shirk away.
5. Mobility issues
No business can grow or flourish by staying in one place. There are newer markets to explore, stakeholders to meet in different regions and other work-related issues for which traveling becomes essential. This is a hindrance for many women entrepreneurs with their families to answer to. Moreover, even when women travel, they have to ensure that their families are taken care of in their absence, a challenge that deters many entrepreneurs from traveling in the first place.
6. Limited qualifications
Women’s education is not given the impetus that it deserves. As such, many women entrepreneurs have low educational qualifications, hindering business management. Expert managerial knowledge, technical know-how, financial acumen, etc., are needed to establish and manage a business. Women often tend to lack educational expertise and depend on professionals who might prove to be expensive for a budding business.
7. Limited networking access
Businesses grow by networking, and when it comes to women entrepreneurs, they face blockages in gaining this networking access. Their male counterparts often ignore their involvement or don’t let women get involved in their networks. Businesswomen tend to miss out on lucrative networking deals and struggle to succeed in their ventures.
8. Lack of funding
Funding is essential to start a business and also to operate it smoothly. This is where women entrepreneurs face challenges, as business funding is not readily available. It is because women might not own sufficient assets in their name that can be pledged to get a loan. Moreover, lenders often underwrite female loan applications with stricter norms making loan sanctions difficult.
While these women entrepreneurs’ challenges are accurate, the women of today are slowly developing the fortitude to succeed in the male-dominated business world. More and more businesses are now getting women-centric, allowing women to pursue their dreams without many challenges. Moreover, lenders have also opened up to the idea of granting business loans to women entrepreneurs. Many lenders offer preferential interest rates and better deals on business loans for women entrepreneurs. Ruloans offers such lucrative loan opportunities for women borrowers allowing the entrepreneur in them to rise and shine.
The world is gradually changing, and the next generation might see a spurt of women entrepreneurs who battle all odds to become successful businesspeople.