The world is a burgeoning marketplace where capitalistic ventures are coming up faster than the blink of an eye. In a world like this, the importance of entrepreneurial ventures cannot be denied, especially their role in the development of the global economy. Women have never been visible in the business world as much as men have. The trend of men dominating the business world has continued since the inception of the capitalistic and industrial society, but the need of women in the global marketplace cannot be ignored. Several studies show that when women are exposed to the market and are given financial freedom they lift not only themselves and their children out of poverty, but the entire economic status of a region improves. That is why there is a dire and immediate need for investment for the development of female entrepreneurs.
Women’s contribution to economic growth is undeniable. It has always been the norm that men are more involved in business than women. Only seven countries in the world – Panama, Thailand, Ghana, Ecuador, Nigeria, Mexico and Uganda, have a marketplace where men and women own businesses at an equal rate. In the rest of the world, women are nowhere in comparison to the stronghold that men maintain over the market in terms of owning businesses. There is also a significant difference in the performance levels of male-owned and female-owned businesses, with the former being more successful. Despite this, it is possible that women could be far more successful in particular businesses than men if given the proper resources. They would be able to cater to an entirely different brand of clientele than their counterparts and hence offer a chance for better economic growth and stability within a country.
Entrepreneurship can be seen as a sure shot way of supporting and eventually pulling women and their children and families out of extreme poverty. When women begin gaining financial education and are exposed to the business world they can actually benefit their country’s economy by adding to it and simultaneously providing for themselves and their families. Youth poverty and delinquency can also be curbed by providing these children with better opportunities early on in life. This can be promoted by removing certain barriers and providing women with more prospects for venturing into self-owned businesses, such as easy access to loans, credit, proper training and certain benefits that would encourage them to embark on their entrepreneurial journey. By removing the obstacles faced by women they can gain access to the kind of income that is only restricted to men and we move another step closer to tackling global poverty.
Women are known to benefit their local economies by investing in their children and families rather than men, who choose to invest in personal interests. Studies have shown that women in emerging marketplaces pump as much as 90% of their earnings back into their local economy and community. This is significantly higher than what men contribute and reinvest into their local economy. Therefore, promoting female entrepreneurs translates to opening up new avenues for the local community and also the country. Also, with more female entrepreneurs entering male-dominated industries such as tech and science, there is the possibility in the decrease of the wage-gap between males and females.
Studies conducted by the UN presented at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development have ascertained that women entrepreneurs tend to be more innovative than their male counterparts. There are multiple factors as to why this is the case such as diverse upbringing, a different understanding of business, exposure to gender and societal roles at an early age, a multitude of perspectives and a tendency of being more qualified than their male counterparts. Nevertheless, it is quite clear that women entrepreneurs are as capable of running a business as male entrepreneurs, even more sometimes. What often pulls these groundbreaking ideas from hitting the markets is a lack of funding by local investors who believe them to be risky businesses despite the case being the opposite as proved by researchers. Despite this, nowhere it is seen that female-owned businesses are more prone to failure than male-owned ones, hence proving the fact that women have an upper hand in the creativity factor in entrepreneurship and are capable of creating a niche for themselves.
Women bring emotional intelligence to the table when it comes to business. Despite the common stereotype that women are too emotionally weak and are unable to take tough business decisions, women who are in business have managed to be at par with many male entrepreneurs. Also, it is known that women entrepreneurs are able to empathized with their employees, clients, stakeholders, financiers and customers more, hence leading to a healthy work environment and efficient working. In today’s world, it is imperative to satisfy the customers in terms of the products you offer them. In a market where company- customer relations are everything, women have an upper hand, since women-owned companies are generally known for their excellent customer service and are more engaging with their clientele generally. Women are more relationship-driven, hence they actively make an effort to build strong relationships with their customers by providing them adequate services.
Women bring a much more realistic approach to business in terms of honesty. They are honest about their abilities and years of struggle to establish their business generally gives them a sense of humility that often lacks in their male-counterparts. Contrary to popular opinion, these small values matter a lot in the business world and can take one to great heights of success. They are willing to compromise more than male entrepreneurs and are eager to learn more. Their freer sense of expression and willingness to learn more, coupled with the fact that they generally tend to be more qualified than their male-equivalents give them an upper hand.
Women are also known to be more adept at multitasking and managing multiple ventures at the same time, something that is vastly beneficial in the business world. They often take on multiple roles such as mothers and wives, hence are known to be able to manage what is being thrown at them. They are also motivated by more than just monetary prospects, since moving out into the open market offers to them a sense of freedom and autonomy unlike any other place does. A certain degree of emotional investment with their businesses enables them to be constantly motivated and keep on working for their purpose without quitting abruptly.
HOW TO HELP THEM
There are three broad areas where women entrepreneurs tend to lag behind- funding, mentorship and education. In order to support them and ensure their steady growth in the global market, these areas need to be worked upon. Women face a lot of hurdles in terms of access to capital and investing due to the discriminatory attitude that still exists in the business world. The gender bias keeps investors from investing in women-based companies which leaves them in a state of monetary deficit. Women entrepreneurs can be boosted by providing them with sources of adequate credit and funding and removing discriminatory regulations.
Women are generally at a disadvantage due to a lack of proper network that would support them in their ventures. By providing them suitable mentorship and access to business advisors, women entrepreneurs can be integrated into a network that would provide them with certain connections. Mentors would also provide them with knowledge of the business world which in turn would immensely help them in furthering their business.
Access to specific entrepreneurial education is also something that would help them out. Creating a network that would impart education related to the specifics of the business world, hold seminars and educational programmes, making them aware of various government policies, connect them with other female entrepreneurs and local promotion of female-owned businesses are some ways to promote female entrepreneurs.
Women in the business world face innumerable difficulties, such as gender bias, a lower pay scale, the absence of a support system for working mothers and many more such issues. The world needs women entrepreneurs, but they in turn need a lot of support in order to establish their businesses and flourish. Women are gradually becoming more visible in the global marketplace now and are earning encomiums for their contribution to the world economy. Despite this being a step in the right direction, women still have a long way to go to earn recognition in the main-dominated business world.