Female Entrepreneurship: Challenges and Opportunities

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In 2017, only 17% of startups have a female founder. Last year, female founders only raised 2.2% of all Venture Capital in dollars. While more and more women are quitting their 9-5 job to start a company of their own, there is no denying that there are still so many challenges that come their way toward achieving their startup goals. Despite these, opportunities to grow, thrive, and succeed are endless.

Here are some of the top challenges faced by female entrepreneurs at present and how to overcome them.

Funding

In 2018, female founders raised $10 billion dollar-funding in total, which constitutes 2.2% of the $130 billion total Venture capital. What’s the reason? Experts think that one possible reason is the increasing number of the so-called mega-rounds which most often go to male founders. Funding has always been one of the major concerns of entrepreneurs. Fortunately, there are many different ways to raise capital, from personal loans online for business startups up to crowdfunding, and finding Angel investors.

Social Stigma

Female entrepreneurs are in a constant battle to defy social expectations and perceptions. The tech field is often viewed as something that is designed for men only, which is why fewer female students pursue tech-related courses, which results in the declining number of women in tech fields. Additionally, many women battle with stereotyping of what it takes to be an entrepreneur, believing that they have to be aggressive and competitive – qualities associated with male entrepreneurs. The best way to deal with the social stigma is for female founders and entrepreneurs to believe in their own abilities. There’s nothing a man can do that a woman cannot, as long as she is determined enough to succeed.

Male Domination in Tech Fields

Apparently, only 20% of tech jobs in the U.S. are handled by women. Despite the fact that the tech industry is thriving, why are women unable to benefit from these opportunities? Again, blame it to social stigma and stereotyping. Luckily, times are changing and more and more tech companies are taking steps to attract more female employees. And that is because it has been proven that having a diverse and innovative workforce is greatly beneficial for companies. In addition to their tech skills, women also possess soft skills and high emotional intelligence that put them in a competitive advantage to run a successful enterprise.

Lack of Support

Both male and female entrepreneurs report that not seeking help is one of their biggest fears, according to a study. Having a strong support system is essential for entrepreneurial success. And the fact that the high-level industries, including tech, are dominated by men, makes it more difficult for female founders and entrepreneurs to thrive. Well, the good news is that support is always available. Knowing where to get it is the key. From seeking advice from family and trusted friends to talking with professionals (business consultants and financial advisors), joining online forums and groups as well as business associations, women should know that they have someone to turn to.

Work-Life Balance

Being mom-entrepreneur is never easy. Women who have kids to take care of might be discouraged to put up their own business due to the fact that raising children takes so much time and energy. Finding the money and the time to devote to both, though is easier said than done, is possible. Women (particularly moms) excel in multi-tasking, organization, and time management. They can always find a way to deal with problems – both in their personal and professional life.

With challenges come opportunities. All women can thrive in any business as long as they put their hearts and mind into it.

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