Entrepreneurs’ challenges can be difficult to face, but what does it mean to be a woman and an entrepreneur today? Challenges entrepreneurs faced during the pandemic were enormous. In 2019, women started only 28% of new businesses in the US. The next couple of years had women seizing "pandemic-related opportunities," with the WE Forum finding that women entrepreneurs formed 49% of startups in 2021. However, the same research found that despite these gains, women have also lost more working hours since the peak of the pandemic compared to men.
This goes to show that while women entrepreneurship is certainly growing around the world, obstacles still remain. Experts find that men still outnumber women 3-1 when it comes to business ownership, and caring and homeschooling responsibilities continue to take women away from the workforce.
Fortunately, there are still things that can be done to combat the challenges faced by women entrepeneurs. Here's a look at a few strategies below.
One of the biggest problems faced by women entrepreneurs is that they are still heavily expected to play a large part in handling a household. And because owning a business means long hours, work-life balance can become a problem. Working mothers are thus often forced to give less priority to their businesses in order to focus on their families.
Female veterans in the field suggest setting clear boundaries about where you need your focus. Nicole Snow, owner of Darn Good Yarn, stresses the importance of a support network to decrease and better focus your workload. Doing so left her with enough time to take care of her two-year-old daughter while managing her online retail company.
When women are unable to balance their work and life accordingly, however, this can lead to them burning out at work. Burnout is one of the most common challenges of women entrepreneurship, as small businesses leave entrepreneurs with no space to live and breathe outside of work. The result of this can lead to a downturn in productivity, and affect one’s health in the long run as well.
Many women entrepreneurs thus emphasize the need for self-care to supplement their everyday schedule.
While many employees rushed to entrepreneurship in ‘The Great Resignation’ in 2021, plenty realized that corporate skills didn’t prepare them enough for heading a fledgling enterprise as entrepeneurs. Challenges like these were even more crippling for women who, in a field that was only starting to even out the gender gap, lacked the necessary personal connections and networks.
This is why you should invest in a business mentor or coach who can help you carve a direct path to your new success. This will speed up the market research phase of scanning the competitive landscape and researching unmet needs with buyers and allow you to make the bold and necessary moves to establish your business in the industry.
Gender biases are one more issue added to the list of challenges of women entrepreneurs. Biases can mean that a significant portion of society still considers running a business to be a masculine attribute.
Women entrepreneurs thus often struggle to be taken seriously and earn respect, and can also be viewed to be aggressive when exhibiting traits associated with business acumen.
Society is going to have an opinion either way, so it's important to rise against gender stereotypes and overcome any negative self-talk. Only then can female entrepreneurs reach their full potential, and invite more women into the field.
Limited funding is a challenge that both male and female entrepreneurs face, but due to prejudice, women face more hurdles. Only about 2.3% of venture capital goes to female entrepreneurs, which means that only 2% of women-owned startups generate $1 million in funding. Men are 3.5 times more likely to achieve this amount.
Fortunately, there are alternate ways to secure funding and avoid some of these women entrepreneurship challenges. Boopos offers non-dilutive, revenue-based acquisition financing options that can be repaid in 1-5 years, which allows women entrepreneurs to rest easy knowing that their financing options work with their revenue cycle.
While becoming a female entrepreneur is a challenge, with ingenuity, and a supportive community, women leaders in business will soon become the norm.
Exclusively written for https://www.boopos.com/ by Alynna Hope