How Women Entrepreneurs Can Overcome The Challenges They Face In Business

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Congratulations if you have started your own business. We hope you succeed in all that you do, in whatever industry you have gone into. You are but one of many women starting their own businesses in the UK, and over the years, there has been an increase. 

However, the number of women in business still falls below men, as according to statistics, they only represent a third of the business-owning population. Part of the problem lies with the challenges that many women are having to face when starting out in business. These are exclusive to our gender, as men don’t seem to have the same issues that we are facing. However, some of these challenges can be overcome, and we will discuss how below.

Challenges Facing Women In Business

Making inroads into male-dominated industries

Construction, manufacturing, and brewing are just three of the business types that are still male-dominated. While this is of little consequence if you have no intention of pursuing business ideas within these industries, you might face problems if you dare to venture out. You might struggle to get taken seriously as a woman, and as we will discuss later, funding might also be an issue. The problem is compounded by the fact that fewer women are involved in male-dominated occupations, so the unfair balance results in stereotypes that signify that men are better in these roles. 

This is an insult to those of you who have trained in male-dominated fields such as manufacturing as you are just as likely to know the difference between such things as a  PVC ball valve  a butterfly valve as a man is. But would a customer trust you? If that customer was a man, possibly not!

So, what can you do about the problem? Well, you fight hard to be the best that you can be. You demonstrate your expertise when talking to potential customers, and you showcase your credentials to them. And you can also follow some of the tips in our article on succeeding in male-dominated markets. If you can continue to fight it out in industries that are commonly overrun by men, you will make it easier for other women to follow the field you are in.

Limited funding opportunities

As illustrated in an article at Yahoo Finance, women are encountering problems when trying to access funding for their startups. Part of the problem is gender-bias, and another issue is trying to pitch female-centric business ideas to male investors. As stated in the linked article, women might face issues when trying to market a makeup company to a man who has little understanding of this business type, for example. 

Of course, you don’t always need to request funding for a startup. There are other ways to raise the money you need, including crowdfunding and business loans. However, you should still approach investors if you need to, but you might find more success if you can find female investors who are pushing to help people like you succeed in business. The Addidi Angels are one such female angel investment club who may be worth approaching if you’re looking for funding for your business. 

Balancing responsibilities

A large number of women have to balance their business life with their family life, as they are still expected to place more focus on being a wife and a mother. Trying to balance personal and professional commitments can be difficult, and it is often the case that women give up on their business and career goals to focus on their family responsibilities. 

Now, for those of you running a home-based business, balancing responsibilities might not be a big issue. You might run your business in the day while the kids are at school, and focus on your family the rest of the time. It’s a little more difficult if your business is away from home, but you could shift some of your professional responsibilities onto your employees, as that would give you more flexibility when juggling your two roles. There might also be childcare facilities you could tap into, or you could incorporate childcare within your business for yourself and your female employees. You might also draw on your support networks, such as your friends and extended family members, for childcare support. 

There is more advice here, so have a read, as it could be helpful to you in your situation. 

Finally

Despite the challenges you face, you shouldn’t give up. Take inspiration from some of the leading female entrepreneurs and learn from their examples. If they can run their own business successfully, so can you. Look for a female mentor too, and draw on their experiences as you pursue your business goals. You can do it, so do as you have always done, roll your sleeves up, and face the challenges you encounter head on. With a resilient ‘can do’ attitude, you might just make it in the business world. 

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