7 Real Challenges Faced By Female Entrepreneurs

October 29, 2021

women entrepreneur challenges

Women have made substantial progress in the world of business over the last two decades. According to a study conducted by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), more than 11.8 million companies in the United States are women owned-businesses, generating over $1.7 trillion in revenue. The importance of female entrepreneurship for economic growth is well documented. Women have long been underrepresented in the corporate world.

Women who work in business environments are limited by social, political, family, and economic issues such as balancing their jobs and personal lives and investor uncertainty. However, women have started businesses and become successful in the last decade; female entrepreneurs confront certain difficulties. Even though there have been approximately 252 million women entrepreneurs worldwide since then, they are still contending with daily issues. With roughly one-third of the businesses in the globe being women, it has never looked better on paper for them.

Unfortunately, these statistics only tell a portion of their story; nevertheless, men remain the primary drivers of a business. Gender roles likewise have an impact on the ecosystem of entrepreneurship, especially in areas where gender norms dominate. However, the following are the 7 real challenges faced by women around the world:

1. Fear Of Taking Risks In Business

In both business and entrepreneurship, taking risks and being successful are closely linked. The majority of successful people in business, both men and women, take calculated risks regularly. This helps them in standing out from the crowd and improve their company’s position. However, according to studies, men are more confident and willing to take risks than women. Unfortunately, this personality type can be seen in the corporate world and when making important decisions. Females may be concerned about the possibility of failure.

According to a poll, women avoid applying for jobs because they believe they would not be chosen for them. Women are afraid of being embarrassed if they fail. This might also explain why women are less inclined to take on competitive and hazardous responsibilities than males. Women prefer to stay inside their pleasant zones and avoid engaging in strenuous activities or seeking major possibilities. Pierson offered a piece of advice for female entrepreneurs, encouraging them to work through the moments of self-doubt that every business owner or entrepreneur faces and stop comparing themselves to others, including men.

Pierson offered advice to women entrepreneurs, suggesting that they should face their self-doubt as business owners and stop comparing themselves to others, particularly men. The bottom line is that if you’re successful, no one cares whether you’re a male or female.

Pierson offered advice to women entrepreneurs, suggesting that they should face their self-doubt as business owners and stop comparing themselves to others, particularly men. The bottom line is that if you’re successful, no one cares whether you’re a male or female.

women entrepreneurs face venture capital challenges

2. Gender Disparity- Lack Of Education And Training Access

Due to societal gender biases, women cannot access knowledge about business development and its environment, accounting, money matters, and even company day-to-day activities. Running a company might be tough if you don’t have the necessary skills or access to such information and resources.

Women’s access to policy is impeded by their lack of education and training, restricted access to decision-makers, and absence of representation in policymaking bodies. Women may be hesitant to take on certain responsibilities because their errors and failures would be criticized more than males.

As a result, they avoid both the position and the potential failure. Women may unintentionally undervalue their worth, according to research. Young females who eventually end up in entrepreneurship frequently doubt their abilities and establish an unreasonable standard for themselves.

This can be a genuine issue for women who are just getting started in the business. A 2019 poll discovered that female entrepreneurs who already own their businesses are less confident and optimistic than their male counterparts. According to the poll, entrepreneurs are 21% less confident in their businesses than males. This low level of confidence among females may influence critical business choices and their success.

3. Limited Access To Capital And Funding

Limited access to capital and funding is one of the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in the business industry. To be successful, a company needs some funding, capital, or investment. However, according to research and studies, women-led firms are less likely to get financial backing than those run by males.

According to research published by Forbes in 2017, just 3% of venture capital funds are invested in female entrepreneurs. While this figure may be high due to the shortage of women in the business industry, other research has shown this male dominance. In general, investors are more likely to take male entrepreneurs seriously than female entrepreneurs.

According to research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, male entrepreneurs are preferred by capital investors and financial institutions when it comes to business pitches. Another reason is that male entrepreneurs are judged more on their potential than women entrepreneurs, whereas women entrepreneurs are only evaluated based on their accomplishments and performance.

In a Small Business Credit Survey, women-owned firms were more hesitant and less likely to apply for funding than male-owned enterprises, with 22% of females versus 15% of males reporting that they were discouraged and did not apply for funding. This alone can discourage some women entrepreneurs from starting a business or achieving success in life.

However, due to the difficulties in obtaining funding, many female entrepreneurs use their funds to finance their companies rather than company funds. This is likely in part to the prospect of being turned down for funding or capital investment.

a number of women in business can find it harder to be more successful

4. Lack of Mentorship and Support Network

According to most company leaders, the lack of mentorship and support can have a negative influence on an individual’s personal and professional growth. The business world normally revolves around the saying, “it’s not what you know, but who you know.” And this can be a major factor in your ultimate business success.

Having the right connections and support network might be a real game-changer for women in business, from locating venture capitalists to connecting with a good lawyer. However, because there are so few women in the business industry, the number of women who can mentor and support future female entrepreneurs is quite limited.

Due to this, some women are unable to discover tried-and-true methods for succeeding in female-dominated industries. This might lead to a company’s failure, especially if it is still early. More than 47 percent of women business owners say they have difficulties finding investors, establishing healthy networks, as well as personal and professional growth, according to NAWBO statistics.

If women cannot obtain support, they require funding. Some may abandon their career or business. Even if they can find mentors, some people will have more casual relationships. Mentors and networks not only provide business assistance, but they can also provide emotional support as well as improved access to funding.

Being a business leader or entrepreneur entails making decisions regularly, so being mentored by an expert may be beneficial in learning about genuine viewpoints and experiences to make sound decisions and avoid errors.

5. Defying Social Expectations

This scenario may ring a bell for many female entrepreneurs who have gone to networking events. You walk into a crowded meeting and can count the number of females on the one hand. It’s understandable that when women entrepreneurs discuss business with mostly male executives, it might be intimidating.

Women may feel compelled to act in a “stereotypically male” way: competitive, aggressive, and sometimes overly harsh when it comes to entrepreneurship. Successful female entrepreneurs CEOs maintain that being true to oneself and developing one’s voice are the keys to overcoming preconceived situations. “Be yourself, and have confidence in who you are,” said Hilary Genga, the founder of women’s swimwear company Trunkettes.

The norms and traditions that exist in some societies have a big influence on the life of female entrepreneurs in the industry. In some cultures, men are considered the heads of their households as a standard practice. Because of this, they are required to look after their home while women are expected to take care of the family. Imagine a situation where a woman decides to break away from the societal norms and venture into entrepreneurship.

Society sees her as attempting to take control of her spouse rather than submitting to him. For that, she may find herself in an impossible situation if she doesn’t apply. Her husband might become jealous, which could cause problems in their marriage. However, this pressure is disheartening to female entrepreneurs. They require moral support to flourish in their field.

6. Difficulties In Maintaining Family And Work Balance

For both entrepreneurs, men, and women, achieving and maintaining a balance between work and family might be a great challenge. But, owing to cultural and social norms, female entrepreneurs may find it more challenging. Even though progress has been made in gender equality and balance in family roles during the last decade, women have a more significant role, especially with children.

Even those who do not have children must juggle work-life balance. When they add one or two children, it becomes a serious challenge. Some women, however, may be less inclined to venture into a business due to the challenges in maintaining a good work-life balance. Running a household may be comparable to managing a company.

A woman is expected to be a leader and demonstrate dedication in a company. She is required to fulfill the expectations of a wife and mother at home. This necessitates fortitude, preparation, and the capacity to make concessions. Women already in business and entrepreneurship face the challenges of family and job commitments, which might cause them to abandon one or both.

According to survey research conducted by the Pew Research Center, women who have children are three times more likely to state that parenthood has hampered their professional or business progress. However, work-life balance is a goal of many entrepreneurs, regardless of their gender, but mothers who venture into business have to manage their households and their companies or businesses.

Now, with some women having to deal with a lack of mentorship and support, restricted access to funding, sexual harassment, gender bias, and other challenges, it’s all the more difficult to handle stress.

7. Lacking Of Confidence And Fear Of Failure

Many women have difficulty with confidence, and they require assistance in recognizing their talents, their value as individuals to companies and businesses. Women frequently underestimate their abilities, and as a result, they require a significant amount of assistance to acquire confidence and discover the worth they offer. Entrepreneurship is risky and has unpredictable circumstances. Fear of failure will take you from ever attempting anything new.

No business has a beautiful beginning or guarantee of success when it begins. The known and the unknown is a common phenomenon among women. They are terrified of failing, especially if those around them are doubtful of their ability in business. Fear causes women to operate from a position of fear rather than confidence. As a result, even though they were intended to succeed, they will ultimately fail in business.

How Women Entrepreneurs Can Overcome Their Challenges In Business

Despite the numerous obstacles that women entrepreneurs confront in business, some have overcome them by overcoming gender bias, a lack of resources, and balancing job and family obligations. They succeeded because they were courageous, tenacious, and dedicated. Here are some strategies to overcome challenges faced by women entrepreneurs that have been taken from some of today’s most successful female entrepreneurs:

Handing Gender Discrimination in Business

The greatest thing a female entrepreneur can do to fight gender bias and prejudice is to be true to oneself and build upon that. While it’s easy to become dejected, being yourself is the key to overcoming whatever label you’re given.

Unfair bias and bigotry can assist you in working harder to achieve your goals. It provides you with an incredible chance to make a long-term influence on others and future generations by avoiding procrastination. Instead of retreating in fear, push forward and speak up for yourself.

Finding Mentors and Support Networks

You’ll need the proper mentoring and network of supporters to advance in your career. Also, form relationships with successful women entrepreneurs and seasoned experts who can provide excellent assistance and coaching.

The greatest thing a female entrepreneur can do to fight gender bias and prejudice is to be true to oneself and build upon that. While it’s easy to become dejected, being yourself is the key to overcoming whatever label you’re given.

You may also discover possible business partners and colleagues through support groups. When selecting a network, keep in mind the following factors: knowledge and industry experience are just a few things to consider.

Finding one, on the other hand, isn’t always simple. If you can’t discover a mentor or make a connection in your environment, working with an external mentor might lead to a deeper relationship and be quite gratifying.

Dealing With Lack of Access to Capital and Funding

It is essential to know that investors are primarily seeking scalable businesses or those with the potential to expand. They are ready to invest in a firm with the potential to boost revenue without necessarily increasing expenses.

So, before approaching investors, make sure your business model allows you to stay competitive while also supporting your expansion goals. You’ll also need a solid business plan if you want to access capital and funding for your business.

It’s also very important to have a management team in place. However, this enhances your chances of being taken seriously by potential venture capitalists. You should also make sure that your business offers value to the client, and it has to be clear and precise.

Managing Business and Family Responsibilities

It’s thrilling to grow and flourish in your business, but it can also be stressful to balance professional and family obligations. To maintain a proper balance between job and family, you must have a strategy and stick to it. It will help distinguish between your career and personal life to balance the demands in both areas.

If you run your own business, it’s not always intended to be a solo performance. Make effective use of your staff by forming a competent management team. Hire professionals who share your business values and approach. This will allow you to delegate responsibilities more easily and expedite project completion.

Coping With the Fear of Failure

Ask any successful female entrepreneur if she has ever failed before achieving her current position, and she’ll tell you that failure was a necessary step on the road to success. Women entrepreneurs should recognize that failure is an inevitable part of the path to success.

As a woman entrepreneur, you must be willing to put yourself out there. It’s normal to fail and make mistakes during the process. Even when you venture into a business and fail, it doesn’t always imply that you won’t achieve your business goals; it’s only a setback and is part of the process.

While failing may be unpleasant, it can help you reach your full potential. So, get going and stay confident and self-assured. Do not be dissuaded from your goals in life, whether starting a new business, applying for a job or funding, or addressing a crowd by the thought of failure. Make a point of believing in your goals and not being afraid to fail. Be passionate about your ideas; don’t be scared to try again.

Feeling Compelled to Act Like a Man

Many successful entrepreneurs are dominated by men, which might lead people to imitate male characteristics to advance. Make a strong effort not to adopt a masculine demeanor. Instead, be yourself and believe in your abilities and talents. If you must act like someone else to get a job, it’s because the position isn’t a good fit for you.

Use Time Management to Your Advantage

One of the most common women entrepreneur challenges face is a lack of time to do things, not just simple tasks but also a slew of obligations. Being the owner, most are occupied with supervising people or assuming responsibilities such as managing the company and meeting with clients. Founders frequently become lost in the frenzy of activity since they have a slew of chores to complete.

While you wear a wide range of hats at work, you’re well aware that time is of critical importance and that you can’t do everything in one sitting. Managing your time isn’t simple, but understanding it as currency and employing good financial habits will make a world of difference. It will help if you are strategic about how much time you spend on each task and where you put it. To manage your time effectively, you should: You have to be smart on how much time to devote and where to dedicate it. To manage time efficiently, you should:

  • Make a list of goals and objectives and break them down into long- and short-term objectives
  • Don’t spend time on unimportant tasks
  • Delegate duties that can be handled by someone else

Choose the Marketing Strategy That’s Best For You

Entrepreneurs are also confronted with the issue of identifying the proper target market. Not everyone will appreciate your goods and services, so defining your consumer base is crucial for your company’s success. After determining the correct market, you must develop a long-term business relationship with your customers using effective marketing techniques. Even if you offer the best services or the best product in the market, you won’t promote your business and services effectively if you don’t use appropriate marketing methods.

Your objective is to use all available channels for advertising your company’s product as much as possible. However, to achieve planned outcomes, you must conduct thorough research and planning. Learn who your target customers are, what their requirements are, and how your business can set itself apart. To be effective, your marketing strategies must be geared toward developing a positive image.

The Way Forward For Entrepreneurial Women

The social-cultural sectors are changing, and this will have an impact on the business industry. Women-owned businesses are now more likely to succeed if they overcome the obstacles that women face and limitations. A woman’s journey to success in the business world is full of challenges and impediments, from being denied investments and loans to difficulties in achieving work-life balance and dealing with sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

However, modern systems give males an edge that has not deterred some women from going on and starting their own companies. Thanks to technology and social media, individuals may develop a company concept and present it to the world regardless of their gender orientation.

These developments are indicators that the current problems for women-owned businesses will be overcome sooner rather than later. Finally, don’t be scared by gender inequality. Take the risk to move forward and perform to your strengths. Have confidence in yourself and pursue your ambitions.

About the author: Joe Silk -

Joseph is a freelance writer who focuses on sharing our Startup Oasis team's abundant knowledge with the rest of the world. Our team has no secret for anything to do with Startups, SaaS software firms, technology, Web and mobile apps, IoT, UI/UX Design. View on Linkedin