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Challenges a Woman Entrepreneur Faces and Ways to Overcome Them A woman exhibiting her entrepreneurial proficiency is presumed as wanting to take over the commanding role of the husband

By Naina Jain

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"You can tell the condition of a Nation by looking at the status of its Women." Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister.

Coordination With the Male Dominant Work Force

Our Indian society is predominantly a male-dominated society, where women are often seen as subordinate and inferior to men. In our field, right from karigars to salesmen, there are more men than women working in the industry. It is challenging to execute and demand work from them because of pre-setting notions amongst the community of not valuing the position of a female. However, even though India is moving away from the male-dominated culture, discrimination is still highly visible in rural as well as in urban areas, throughout all strata of society. While women are guaranteed equality under the constitution, legal protection has a limited effect, where patriarchal traditions prevail. But, now, things have started becoming less challenging with time and by building a relationship of trust. We can't deny the fact that the role of women in society has been radically changed in the past few decades. From running a jet plane, teaching kids to serving as admin head or company executive, women are seen playing each role with aplomb. They are not only cherishing their fulfilling careers, but also some of them are outrunning men.

Home and Work-Life Balance

Indian families are undergoing rapid changes due to the increased pace of urbanization and modernization. Indian women belonging to all classes have entered into paid occupations. At the present time, Indian women's exposure to educational opportunities is substantially higher than it was some decades ago, especially in the urban setting. This has opened new vistas, increased awareness and raised aspirations of personal growth. The position of a married woman is a demanding one to juggle between home chores and work. For me, I was blessed with understanding and supportive mother in law, who inspired and motivated me with every step I advanced with the Brand.

Societal Expectancy

Men and women have always had different expectations in society. That's the way history has played out and continues to play out today. As women gained more equality, doors were opened to more opportunities. Despite the advances women have made, there is obviously more changes that need to happen. The roles of a woman are plenty. She is a mother, a wife and daughter in law too. It has been difficult to strike balance in all the spheres while playing the role to 100%. While playing all these roles, the very role of a societal being came with many responsibilities. This wouldn't have been possible without my family support.

Cultural Values

Indian women entrepreneurs face a dilemma when they become the bread-winner of the family as the cultural value of our country entails that the man/husband be the breadwinner. A woman exhibiting her entrepreneurial proficiency is presumed as wanting to take over the commanding role of the husband. This obstacle also arises in families where the husband/father is an entrepreneur. The male children are usually prepared to run the family business after the demise of the father while the female children are usually left out of this entrepreneurial grooming process. To overcome this entrepreneurial challenge, you must be prepared to breakthrough this limiting tradition; you must stick to what you believe in.

Limited mobility

Many women entrepreneurs are unable to travel to different cities or country as they are curbed by their own family members. The situation of the Indian cities, environment, and inability to drive vehicles are some of the main causes. The problem lies in the insight of people. To overcome, make sure your family knows your capabilities and it's important to gain their trust.

As a final note, these are the five challenges specifically faced by women entrepreneurs. So if you are a female entrepreneur just starting out in business; expect to face such challenges. Your ability to surmount these business challenges is what makes you a successful entrepreneur. Remember that gender, age, race, religion or personal beliefs are not criteria for success. Most important is having a good plan and being determined to succeed, even in the face of failure.

Naina Jain



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