What is Holding Women Entrepreneurs Back From Attaining Success?

Women hold the power to change the world but not all are young and bold to share their stories

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A majority of women across the world face multiple barriers like lack of family support, lack of capital and lack of self-confidence that act as hindrances in their entrepreneurial pursuits. From being a perfect mother to running a business, women have the power to balance work and family still somewhere they are being held back from fulfilling their dreams.

A 2018 report by the World Economic Forum, "The Global Gender Gap," finds that across the 149 countries assessed, there are just 17 that currently have women as heads of state, while, on average, just 18 percent of ministers and 24 percent of parliamentarians globally are women. Women hold the power to change the world but not all are young and bold to share their stories.

Five women entrepreneurs shared with us that one thing that's holding back women in business from success:

Jessica Lam, Co- founder, Kaiterra

"The challenges inherent in the environment and society do hold women back to varying degrees in different places. I am hopeful that awareness of the issue and societal shifts will happen over time and improve the situation for women everywhere. What is however, entirely in the control of the individual, is cultivating conviction in your values and the voice to speak up, and developing a discerning gut-feeling for a work environment that is supportive of you. Find your values, strengthen those values, find your voice, and those people who believe in you to make a difference."

Amy Read, Founder and CEO, Gifts Less Ordinary

"When you think the possible is impossible, it is. When you're constantly told you are at a disadvantage, you start to believe it. The truth is, we can achieve whatever we put our mind to, regardless of sex, race or religion. We have to move the agenda away from the male/female divide, as those businesses that succeed know there is a place for both in the boardroom."

Ramya Ragupathi, Founder and CEO , Oh My Goodness!

"I can't claim to speak for all women, but I can speak to my experience since transitioning from 10 years in the corporate world to being a female founder. As a founder of a startup, especially in the first 1 to 1.5 years, all interactions were personal so who I was really mattered. Having always been bold and independent, I can't say I felt held back, other than say, having less headspace than I would like to focus on my business given my responsibilities toward my parents and the role I play in my family setting. However, what I have found is that I need to work a lot harder to establish my credibility."

Yen Ti Lim, Co-Founder & COO, Shopmatic

"Women can be their own worst enemies. There is a sense of duty to do the 'right' thing for everyone else but themselves – putting the needs of others before themselves. Taking the step of entrepreneurship is a risky one because it requires support to be given to you from the people around you for long periods of time. If you want to strive for success as an entrepreneur, you need to fully believe in yourself and that you deserve a fighting chance at success. Success means many different things to different people. You need to figure out what it means to you before you allow yourself to run after the wrong thing."

Sharon Lee, Co-Founder & COO, HReasily

"I think that self-doubt is what's holding back any entrepreneur from success. If you believe in a business idea or a cause that is strong enough, you will naturally move the universe to make it work. As an entrepreneur, regardless of gender, many a time you experience self-doubt. Starting, growing and scaling your business takes a lot of time, energy and mental strength which both men and women must be prepared for."