Women entrepreneurs play an important role in the economic development of a nation. Now numerous women are entering into entrepreneurship due to immense passion and certain compulsions. Most of them have a desire to do something for themselves, their family and children. However, it has not been easy for all. There are many challenges women still face in doing businesses in most part of the world.
Challenges for women entrepreneurs
The rate at which women are forming businesses has increased significantly in the last decade. However, the rates of female entrepreneurial activity are significantly and systematically lower than those for males. Because, women face many problems at various stages beginning from their initial commencement of enterprise, in running their enterprise.
Lack of education
Lack of education plays an important role. Due to lack of education, majority of women are unaware of technological developments, marketing knowledge, etc. Hence, lack of information and knowledge creates further problems in the setting up and running of business enterprises. Therefore, Illiteracy has been the main cause of the various constraints.
In India, it is mainly a woman’s duty to look after the children and other members of the family. Women involvement in family leaves little energy and time for business. Therefore, managing time between their family and the work is a real challenge for running their business.
A woman entrepreneur has to take responsibility as a mother, wife, daughter-in-law etc. At the same time she is the boss at the work place. There are time when her physical presence is required in both the places. If she delays any particular activity, the whole schedule of the day will be disturbed.
Lack of experience.
All stages in entrepreneurship are dependent on relevant experience. It starts from the identification of opportunities to the execution of running a business. Lack of experience often leads to failure of the business being done. Many business women are complete novice and they have no prior experience of running business. Some women enter into the business with the help of a friend or a family member but they themselves possess little knowledge of the work done.
Shortage of Finance
Most of the women entrepreneurs suffer from inadequate financial resources and working capital. Raising capital to start an enterprise has been the most common start-up problem. This problem is prominent among rural or semi urban women entrepreneurs. Sometimes they are forced to borrow money from private money lenders at a high rate of interest. Lack of information relating to banks, financial organizations also borrowing funds from proper source has been a big problem with them.
Lack of support and Guidance
Support of family is utmost important for women entrepreneurs if they have to run their business successfully. Without their support it will be difficult for her to balance between business activities and house hold responsibilities. In addition to that, the women entrepreneurs need proper advice and guidance to initiate and more ahead in their entrepreneurial ventures. However, the females often feel hesitant or reluctant to approach people for guidance and direction.
Lack of Entrepreneurial skills
Most of the women entrepreneurs are having no proper and sufficient technical and professional training to set-up a new venture. The majority of women entrepreneurs both in urban as well as semi-urban areas have lacked the entrepreneurial skills relating to administration, marketing, accounts, public relations etc. Hence, the business operations often creates hurdles for them while running their enterprises later on.
Gender Bias and Non Acceptance
Gender bias and non-acceptance by the male dominated society is another major obstacle in the part of female entrepreneurs. These women entrepreneurs often come across difficult employees and customers. Handling the employees and getting the work done for them is really a tough job. It is not easy when these women have male employees working under them.
There are many other factors affecting the establishment and development of their business. Finding right contact, adequate space premise to run a business is also a big challenge for them. Insecurity, lack of self confidence, limited knowledge of marketing strategies, social mobility, lack of networking facility, weak business associates, etc are also the major constraints for women entrepreneurs in India.
The above are the main reasons why women-owned businesses tend to be smaller, slower growing and less profitable than those owned by men. So, it is necessary to provide a fair environment for risk-taking and no unreasonable barriers for new women entrepreneurs who start a firm. More generally, improving the position of women in society will have benefits in terms of women’s entrepreneurship.