A feature on the challenges faced by women starting their own businesses and the support they need to succeed
Statistics show that women are more likely to start businesses than men, yet despite a growing number of women leaving traditional employment to enter into the world of entrepreneurship, they still face significant and unique challenges.
For instance, women may not have access to the same resources or opportunities available to men, such as startup capital and mentorships. Additionally, cultural attitudes can be an obstacle; traditional values in some parts of the world still prioritize male-led businesses over female-run ones.
Fortunately, great strides have been made toward leveling the playing field for women entrepreneurs. But even with these advancements, there is still much work to be done if we are to fully appreciate and nurture women’s potential in entrepreneurship.
“They say that if you want to go through professional growth boot camp, start a business,” says Stephanie Jaie, author, speaker, and Somatic Sexoligist. “I can absolutely validate that starting a business will bring all your shadows to the surface. Every iota of fear, unworthiness, and conditioning from our parents and society on what it means to be an entrepreneur, what it means to be successful, and what a ‘good day of work’ looks like shifts at a fundamental level when we choose to become an entrepreneur. The key is to allow it to grow you instead of hiding behind your fear and minimizing your light. Consciously lean into your edge, and breathe deeply as you expand into the version of you that you came here to be.”
Kendra Davies, Life Coach and Positive Psychology Practioner says “One of my biggest challenges was learning to let go of what I thought having my own business should look like. I thought that in order to have a successful business, I had to have my own office, with a fax machine, and work relentlessly to meet any potential client’s schedule. During my first year in business, operating under these assumptions, I lost everything.” After losing everything that first year in business Davies had to learn to trust her instincts and prioritize what was important to her. “When I let go of what I thought it had to look like and allowed myself to prioritize the things that were important to me, I ended up creating a successful business that I love.”
In addition to the mindset challenges faced by female entrepreneurs, another challenge often arises in the form of harnessing the technique of crafting products or services that people actually need. “One of my biggest challenges has been in distinguishing my offerings from the needs of my clients,” shares Merina Ty-Kisera, CEO of Merina Wellness and Touching Spirit, LLC. “Professionals like myself have a wide range of modalities to help with a variety of concerns however, it is not necessarily what the client needs or wants as much as we think they do. To overcome these obstacles, it is best to hire the right coach or mentor. Great support is critical for starting and building a business.”
Every aspect of life has challenges, including entrepreneurship. With the right resources and support, and a little bit of trust, tenacity, and self-belief, women can become powerful forces of change in the world of business.
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