It's exciting to see so many women who are really grabbing the ropes and are becoming exceptional business leaders across all industries and sectors around the world. It's quite inspirational and empowering to see women leaders and bosses on the rise, but as women we still face many challenges/barriers.
1. Limited Funding - how can women get a loan to launch a business or to grow their business? Not all business people in general are fortunate enough to have an investor or financier for their business but women businesses are among the leading ventures that lack financial support. There just simply aren't many initiatives for funding women lead ventures. After researching different articles, it is evident that gender has a direct impact on both access to loans and funding - many institutions tend to fund male-owned businesses/ventures. According to Globe and Mail, women-owned businesses are more likely to self-finance.
2. Fear of Failure - women tend to be more cautious about risks and often question their own judgement. Entrepreneurship or running a business is always risky and entails circumstances that you cannot control all the time.
"No-one goes into business with a guarantee of success" - Christine Yu
What we have to remember is that you cannot move forward and grow if you're not prepared to take a risk once in a while. Remember why you started and the reason why you are taking the risk - for an outcome. Learn to focus more on the desired outcome more than the risk itself. This fear can become toxic and hindering because we may end up operating from a place of fear rather than a place of confidence. As a result, you may not achieve the desired outcome/goals even if you wanted to succeed.
3. Inadequate Support System - what can we achieve if we all had the support system we needed? Failing or struggling ins business can be a result of an inadequate support system. We as women face some of the biggest challenges with getting adequate support -- from getting relevant connections to emotional support or financial access/opportunities. The way things are structured often force women to delay their start-ups because the support-system to help them succeed is often unachievable or too expensive.
4. Gender Inequality - although there are initiatives to close the gap when it comes to gender inequality, we still have a long ways to go right here at home and globally. Women have to work their way up in the "masculine" world while facing discrimination and stigma a lot of the times. Although we have policies and laws to keep the business environment favourable for everyone, the changes themselves are still in a WIP. Strategies to address gender inequality issues is gaining traction but in the meantime what we can do to overcome some of these challenges? Start by understanding the landscape of the business, learn how to build partnerships and connections, and prepare your positioning. It's all about strategy - give yourself a chance and explore your opportunities, listen to those around you, observe those you admire as business leaders and take notes!
5. Limited Knowledge - one of the reasons why CY & Co. came to life was on the notion that empowering women with knowledge is critical and valuable to help each other succeed in business and life. As we go through the cycles of success and failures, we can share those learnings as our access to information and emerging knowledge can sometimes be limited. We tend to take the additional step to seek relevant information and practical information - probably due to competitive environments. Getting information out is just as important as receiving that useful and beneficial information.
Whatever path we choose, we must do it for ourselves first - truly understand our "why". As business leaders and women in business, we must set the course for others - demonstrate our authenticity and allow others to learn from our successes and failures. We need to stand by our achievements and let people around us recognize it. Once you start "owning" your success (a topic we talk about in another post) will motivate you to work harder and accomplish more with your business.
Confidence is essential to one's own success and growth. When a woman leads, others will follow. - Christine Yu
Futurpreneur Canada: https://www.futurpreneur.ca/en/2018/financial-resources-for-female-entrepreneurs/
Government of Canada - Checklists & Guides for Starting a Business - Women Entrepreneur:
Fintech Ladies: http://fintechladies.com/
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