Running a business is hard work. From access to funding to finding the right business option, entrepreneurship can be difficult. However, the challenges faced by female entrepreneurs are different from, and sometimes far exceed, the issues that their male counterparts face. If you are a woman looking to set up your own business venture in India, being aware of the issues you may face will equip you to handle them better. Here are the top 5 problems and solutions to problems faced by female entrepreneurs:
- Expectations and Stereotypes
Despite being in the 21st century, expectations from women are still family-centric. While men are encouraged to become independent and run their own business, a woman must balance domestic responsibilities with a career, should she be lucky enough to pursue one. Without the right support, a woman might struggle. Additionally, there are many stereotypes that female entrepreneurs have to fight off, including people questioning their priorities, their ability to make decisions, and their confidence.
Solution: Fortunately, running a business will give you more flexibility to choose your working hours. Many small businesses such as a catering unit or an e-commerce store can be run from home, giving you more room to balance work and domestic life. Once your business succeeds and you gain financial independence, people will automatically begin taking you more seriously.
- The Funding Problem
Financial problems faced by women entrepreneurs are far worse than male entrepreneurs. In 2019, just 6.5% of the total funds raised by the top 150 Indian startups went to women-run businesses. Gender bias often creeps into the financial and business world. Most female-owned businesses are microenterprises and usually self-financed. Even this is sometimes challenging because women often do not have their own money, assets or property.
Solution: In India, the government has many schemes like the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana, Annapurna Scheme, and Stree Shakti Package that supports female entrepreneurs. Gold loans for business can be another viable option. Women, especially in India, often own gold jewelry which can be pledged to take out a small business loan.
- Lack of Education and Access to Information
Out of India’s 313 million illiterate adults, 59% are women. The higher rates of illiteracy among females, especially in rural areas, can pose serious trouble when they turn to entrepreneurship. Lack of education means women are less aware of technological developments, financial matters such as the process of loan application and even market knowledge needed for business. If you are a female entrepreneur, it is important for you to invest in your business and financial literacy to be successful.
Solution: There are many government and private programs that work towards empowering female business owners. If you are tech-savvy, then online resources can help you improve your business and financial knowledge from the comfort of your home. Some financial institutions provide special support to women for loan access and quick approval. You can also learn about the various home-based business loans for women for more insights.
- Limited Mobility
Another major challenge faced by female entrepreneurs is the lack of mobility. Safety is a concern for women worldwide and this issue can prove to be difficult for women entrepreneurs. Travelling to meet clients or suppliers, procure raw materials or get a loan can be a task since many women have to depend on male family members or friends to travel with them. This restricted mobility and dependence can have a direct negative impact on business.
Solution: Owning a vehicle can be empowering. Many banks provide auto loans at reduced rates to women. Gold loans can also be used to buy a vehicle. Many of these loans, like Rupeek’s gold loan, can be sanctioned online, thereby not requiring you to travel to complete any of the loan verification requirements.
- A Reliable Support Network
Having a mentor or a guide while running a business can be a huge blessing. With the right guidance, reliable solutions to problems faced by female entrepreneurs can be arrived at more easily. For instance, a woman who has already set up a restaurant will be able to help another woman with loan paperwork or hiring the right help. While men have plenty of role models in business to turn to, women are often not that lucky.
Solution: Networking events can help female entrepreneurs meet other like-minded women. If you do not have physical access, there are many internet communities of women entrepreneurs that can prove to be useful.
Fight the Battle
While women business-owners have a tough battle to fight, the solutions to problems faced by female entrepreneurs can only be arrived at by overcoming them. Rupeek’s gold loans can help you achieve your entrepreneurial dreams. Our gold loans are easy to apply for, with minimal documentation requirements. Rupeek gold loans are also completely online, with doorstep gold pickup facility, meaning you do not have to travel for a loan. Apply for a Rupeek small business gold loan to begin your business journey now!