Women have come a long way from the years when they didn’t have any rights at all. A lot of women have made their names in multi-national organizations as entrepreneurs. Women like Angela Merkel, who has led Germany for more than 14 years or Saudi Arabia’s Oscar-nominated film-maker, Haifa al-Mansour.
Then we have influential figures like Mary Barra, who made headlines when she was appointed CEO of General Motors, the first woman to run a major automaker. The list of women featuring on Forbes billionaire list is growing every year. As a result, here’s why the world needs more women entrepreneurs:
According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, there are 206 million women operating new businesses and another 187 million at the helm of established ones. Yet we face a huge equality gap. In only seven countries such as Thailand, Ecuador, Ghana, Nigeria, and Mexico, women take part in business at rates equal to men, while in some countries like Pakistan, they barely take part at all.
Even when women are active business owners, they do not reach their potential. Women own just 3 in 10 American firms, yet employ only 24% of the country’s workforce and account for barely 11% of business revenues.
Despite this, it is possible that women could be far more successful in some specific businesses than men if given the optimal resources. They would be able to cater to an entirely different branch of clients than their competitors and hence, offer a chance for better economic growth and stability within a country.
The need for more women at the helm of businesses
Entrepreneurship can be seen as a sure-shot way of addressing the inequality stigma that continues to haunt our societies even today. 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.
Removing certain barriers and providing women with more prospects for venturing into self-owned businesses, such as easy access to loans, proper training and certain benefits would encourage them to embark on their entrepreneurial journey.
There a lot of organizations from the World Bank to Coca-Cola that have a huge chunk of female personnel in top positions. These companies understand that women are crucial to economic growth around the world. Women entrepreneurs see the world through a different lens and, do things differently.
This is reflected in the kinds of businesses they start, whether it’s Coco Chanel, who learned the trade of a seamstress as a child, Estée Lauder, who turned a passion for skincare and make-up into a beauty empire, or Oprah Winfrey, whose media business focuses on helping women to reach their potential.
What can be done?
Looking at these aspiring women we know why we need women in business! The real question that arises here is how can we support women entrepreneurs?
The three biggest obstacles women face in business are funding, mentorship, and experience. Here are a few ideas of what can be done to help women overcome those obstacles:
· Volunteer with support programs that promote female entrepreneurship locally and globally
· Patronize female-owned businesses
· Advocate for reliable sources of credit and lending for women
· Connect women with successful female entrepreneurs
Women in business are a force for good in the economy, community, and the world. It is time that they rise and embrace their full potential.
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