Gone are the days when entrepreneurship was only limited to men. According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, there is a growing segment of the female population engaging in business, with nine million U.S. firms now owned by women. That said, there are still struggles that women encounter in the world of startups that their male counterparts seldom face.
Navigating a Man’s World
It is difficult to navigate a male-dominated world when you know that the system is tipped against you. With Business Insider reporting that an average woman earns 79 cents for every dollar a man takes home, it will take a lot for women to earn the respect of their co-workers. This is especially so when they are ascending through the ranks of their companies.
Defying Expectations of Society
Even with the massive strides society has made in leveling the field between men and women, there is still a disparity in how the two genders are seen. People expect female entrepreneurs to be softer, and they sometimes get surprised when they see an aggressive, ambitious woman leading a meeting. In order to succeed as a woman entrepreneur, you need to be able to defy the unfair expectations of the society.
Managing the Fear of Failure
If you are just starting out in the business world, it is normal that you would feel a fear of failure. One of the fears that grip businesswomen is not getting enough funding for their ventures. Budding entrepreneurs who are bold enough to take risks with their business ideas have a higher chance than ever to get a loan. Forbes reported that the Small Business Administration allocated $3.8 billion of capital to be accessed by women, with overall lending for female-led businesses rising to 36 percent in 2016.
Knowing Your Value
It has been observed that women tend to downplay their own contributions to their companies. This is because there is an internalized fear of being disliked for owning up to their accomplishments. According to Corporate Business Solutions, recognizing the contribution of individuals to the team effort is an important thing to do. This is especially true if the team’s target benefits everyone and particular people provided help that is crucial to the success of the effort. Women should keep this in mind.
While there may be setbacks that plague your first few years in business, people will respect you if you persevere and achieve success eventually. Success, after all, does not know gender.