2018 Challenges for Women Entrepreneurs and How to Overcome them - Part I
Image created using Voyant tools

Women Entrepreneurs around the world face major challenges but many are inspiring us to shape the future of global business.

They show the value of extending a helping hand to others. They support fellow women to rise together rather than looking at them as rivals. They are instrumental in building positivity and in establishing the Golden Era of Women Entrepreneurship.

In the US, women now make up 40 % of new entrepreneurs in the US. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) found 126 million women starting or running businesses, and 98 million operating established (over three and a half years) businesses. That’s 224 million women impacting the global economy — and this survey counts only 67 of the 188 countries recognized by the World Bank.

In the 40 economies participating in the sweeping Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey in both 2011 and 2016, women’s entrepreneurship rates rose by 13 % on average. However, the overall Rate of New Entrepreneurs decreased for both men and women from 2015 to 2016. The Rate of New Entrepreneurs decreased to 0.23 % (230 out of 100,000) for women.

Overall, men are more likely to start businesses each month than the women, which holds in all reported years. The figures have only seen a drop for women.

Yet, in UAE, Women are leading entrepreneurship.

Nabbesh Baz, one of the leading women entrepreneurs founded Nabbesh.com, the first online freelance marketplace in the Middle East and North Africa region in 2012. Nabbesh says, “Perseverance is the key if you want to make it to the finish line”.

This is the new era of creating something more meaningful, substantial and rewarding as more come forward to turn their ideas into triumphant business models. “According to the UAE Ministry of Economy, women contribute nearly half of the UAE’s SME sector. The changing emphasis on a woman’s role in business has garnered increasing recognition in recent years”. (Information source – Gulf News)

In 2017, the UAE Gender Balance Council was created. The Council boosts efforts to evolve and enhance the role of women as key partners in building the future of the nation. In addition to the Council, there are other organizations that have been supportive in encouraging a modern entrepreneurial spirit, such as Entrepreneurs’ Organization, The Female Network, and Dubai Women’s Business Council.

The rise of women in leadership roles shows the impact they’ve made in shaping the global business. Yet, women in the Middle East still have substantial challenges. Only 7.6 % of women are early-stage entrepreneurs compared to 11.8 % of men. (Information source – Gulf News)

I’ve learnt alot about the challenges women face and see for myself the walls built in front of us.

The challenges that these women entrepreneurs faced in 2017, as do women worldwide are as follows.

Access to funding

Female entrepreneurs start companies with 50% less capital than male entrepreneurs, according to Access to Capital by High-Growth Women-Owned Businesses, research commissioned by the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC).

Balancing business and family life

Women have less support when to comes to having a family and being an entrepreneur. High childcare costs push or slow down aspiring entrepreneurs. Research suggests that more women with partners/spouses are able to ride the ups and downs that come with having one’s own business than those who are single. Yet, single women can focus exclusively on marketing and grow their businesses. But at the end of the day, balancing business and family life is challenging for both. This is one of the reasons why many women return to corporate life after giving entrepreneurship a shot.

Attitudes towards professional women

The mindset of the 17th century still lurks in the heads of some men and women alike. They don’t give women the benefit of the doubt that they can do the same job as good or better than their male counterparts. “One of the key problems for women taking up leadership positions, warns Katie Lee, Managing Director of communications agency Gravity Road, is that “we are expected to earn respect when we are appointed, whereas men get respected because they have been appointed. That can be frustrating.”


Women entrepreneurs belief about their own competences are influenced by various factors in their environment. The idea they have about the kind of person they are is influenced by the idea of what they can be? According to self-perception theory, people examine two things when making decisions about the cause of their own behavior. First, the behavior itself and Second, the environmental forces working on the individual.

Lack of support and awareness

Women with lack of support from family or fellow entrepreneurs fear failure. Self-doubt becomes a major block on their journey to entrepreneurship. The Fear of failure is influenced by intrinsic personality traits, as well as by environmental forces, societal norms and regulations. In addition, women often lack contact with successful entrepreneurial role models whom they can turn to for support and business advice.

Next Steps

Women entrepreneurs all over the world must share their success stories and spread awareness on what worked for them.

In 2017, I observed an amazing group of women online and called upon few to share their valuable thoughts. Please read Part II “How these Amazing Women Entrepreneurs plan to Overcome Challenges in 2018“.

Here’s what you can do this 2018.

    • Recognize and embrace your true potential as entrepreneurs and Believe in Yourself.
    • Inspire more women to become entrepreneurs. Give birth to a more productive and economically uplifted society.
    • Approach all the entrepreneurial women and men around you for support. Rather than see women as rivals, men should accept and work with women.
    • Your biggest asset is you. Build a supportive network, shape business relationships, and find an incredible mentor.
    • Facilitate events that bring entrepreneurs together to learn and connect.
    • Stop pleasing others and live up to your own expectations. Flout social expectations.
    • Give yourself the credit you deserve. We are well known to improve organizational effectiveness so don’t hesitate to shine and improve women entrepreneurial effectiveness.

Once you believe in yourself and what your putting forward to the world people will automatically believe in you.

The challenge is to be authentic and engage people with your actions and words. Ambition, adaptability, and resilience are key factors of entrepreneurial success. Failure is an inevitable journey to success. We must all learn to be confident and realize that failure is just a learning curve.

As an entrepreneur, you must be resilient and courageous.

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it” – Maya Angelou

Article originally published on http://americandiversityreport.com

About me

I am a brand ambassador for beBee Inc, an ardent reader, a Purpose-Driven Career Strategist and HR.

My passion is to help create a purpose-driven world around me. I encourage women worldwide to recognize and embrace their true potential as entrepreneurs and believe in themselves.
The content put together is a source of information researched and compiled from various websites. The opinions expressed here are that of my own and does not represent anybody. The information shared must not act as an evidence or factual data but only as a means of getting a general idea of women entrepreneurship and to enhance women entrepreneurship.

Originally published at www.bebee.com