As women are now overtaking their male peers in terms of education and they are highly educated when it comes to higher degree education in today’s modern times as compared to men and this is what, I think, the main reason is that the women entrepreneurship has increased rapidly as comparing to the earlier times. “Entrepreneurship refers to the act of setting up a new business or reviving an existing so as to take advantages from new opportunities.” This entrepreneurship shapes a new economy in the global economy by creating new jobs and new wealth opportunities in the society. In other words, it can be said that it is basically a state of mind enriched with new ideas and experiences resulting into a new career of an individual. Women entrepreneurship has been recognized as an important source in the economic development as it creates new jobs for themselves and for others also and in result, provides the society with different ideas of business management, organizations and business problems. Women entrepreneurship is both about a woman’s position in the society and her role in the business in the same society. Although this concept of women entrepreneurship has increased rapidly yet there are many social and specific obstacles like family responsibilities, labour force, gender discrimination, etc. in commencing and maintaining business for a woman. I would like to discuss this topic in detail here and its related obstacles too.
Reasons for boosting women entrepreneurship
There are many reasons for boosting women entrepreneurship in the social and economical entrepreneurship. Some of the reasons are listed below :-
1. Increase the ability of women to participate in the labour force by ensuring the availability of affordable child care and equal treatment in the work place :- This is one of the way by which a woman can be encouraged by providing her equal treatment and equal status at workplace and be ensured by the affordable child care.
2. Listen to the voice of women entrepreneurship :- This is the second way by which a woman can be encouraged to start her own business by listening to her voice. For this, the Governmental agencies can organize for such programmes which provides women with business centres, and should organize seminar and meetings or provide web – based information to all those women who wants to start or grow their own businesses.
3. Incorporate a woman’s entrepreneurial dimension in the formation of all SME – related policies :- This can be done by ensuring that the impact on women’s entrepreneurship is taken into account at the design stage.
4. Promote the development of women entrepreneur networks :- This is the major source of women development and also, it is a major tool for enhancing their development and promotion. Co – operation and partnerships between national and international networks can be the other valuable tools in the global economy for the promotion and the development of women entrepreneurship.
5. Evaluate the impact of any SME – related policies periodically on the success of women – owned businesses and the extent to which such businesses take advantage of them :- The objective should be to identify the ways to improve the effectiveness of those that should be retained.
6. Improve the factual and analytical underpinnings of our understanding of the role of women entrepreneurs in the economy :- This requires the changing of mentality of the people and the society which are totally based on the gender discrimination. This is the most important by which a woman in the society can be encouraged a lot for starting her own business.
Reasons for women opting for entrepreneurship
There are many reasons for women because of which they want to opt for entrepreneurship. Some of the reasons why a woman wants to opt for this :-
1. A woman wants to opt for entrepreneurship for increasing her own self – determination.
2. The second reason for opting for women entrepreneurship can be one’s expectation to be recognized by her own identity in the society.
3. A woman can also opt for it for gaining self – esteem or self – respect.
4. To achieve the career goal, a woman can go for the entrepreneurship.
5. Sometimes, the reason for a woman to opt for the entrepreneurship is to discover her inner potential.
6. If a woman posses the caliber to achieve self – satisfaction, one can go for entrepreneurship.
7. Opting for entrepreneurship, it can provide a mean to make best use of leisure hours to women entrepreneurs.
8. Dismal of the economic conditions of the women arising out of unemployment in the family can be the another reason for women to opt for women entrepreneurship.
9. Divorce can also compel the women into entrepreneurial activities.
Obstacles to women entrepreneurship
There are many obstacles to the women in starting their new business and work as an entrepreneur. These obstacles are divided into four parts i.e., general obstacles, obstacles specific to starting new firms, obstacles specific to managing a small firm and obstacles specific to growing firms.
1. The lack of role models in entrepreneurship :- There is lack of role models for women working as an entrepreneur so that the woman who wants to start her new business can be encouraged or can get an idea of how to start as a new entrepreneur from her role model. Secondly, the influence of role model is gender base, i.e., an individual is more influenced by the same sex role model an hence, it is very necessary to have more of women entrepreneurs in the business sector for the other all women to be motivated.
2. The lack of experience :- All the stages of entrepreneurship needs a high level of education and experience which a woman who starts working as a new entrepreneur lacks it as mostly the women are not much educated and they don’t have much of knowledge, skills and experience as they are mostly exploitated bt the family members or by the society.
3. The lack of relevant networks and societal positions :- There is a lack of relevant networks and also, in their societal position for the women as the women has always been considered at a lower position than men in the society which in turn, affected the kinds of network they can access. In businesses, it is important to have strong – ties which a woman always lack of and hence, she faces a lot many difficulties to successfully start and manage a new firm as compared to men.
4. Lack of wealth :- An individual has to have capital in terms of financial assets as well as in terms of knowledge assets and a woman lacks in both. A women does not have much of knowledge about how to start a business and also, she does not posses her own financial property or money. She has to either ask for it from her family members or friends or from her husband or in – laws where the constraints of family obligations makes it more harder for the women.
5. Competing demands on time :- It is very difficult for a woman to engage in entrepreneurship is the perceived lack of time or competing demands because she has the responsibility of the family and raising of children. So they do not have enough of time to develop their skills or to attend the workshops and the training programmes.
6. External finance and sex – discrimination :- This is the major obstacle which comes to the women in starting a new firm. Generally, women have lower or no financial assets than men. So, she has to asked for the financial help externally. Also, there is a huge sex discrimination between male and female in the society because of which a woman has to face a lot of other financial problems.
7. Other major obstacles :- The other major obstacles can be their inability to achieve gowth especially sales growth, lack of motivation, responsibility of the family, etc.
Measures to remove the obstacles
As there are a lot of obstacles which proved to be hindrances for the women in starting or managing a new business. The measures should be taken to remove such obstacles. Some of them are listed below :-
1. This requires a major change in traditional attitudes and minsets of the people in the society. It is important to design such programs that will address to attitudinal changes of the society.
2. It is necessary to make a woman aware of her unique identity in the society and her contribution towards the economic growth of the country.
3. Training programmes should be organized by the Government to develop the skills and ability of women.
The women entrepreneur has to suffer a lot and has to face a lot to start a new business for herself because of her lower position and lower status in the society . it is very important to change the attitudes and the mindsets of the people of the society to develop women entrepreneurship. And also, for the development of the women as entrepreneurs, the Government has to take vey major and wide steps as it is very difficult task to be completed.
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