Women as Impact Entrepreneurs: Debunking Misconceptions
Who’s doubting more women cannot be ‘impact entrepreneurs’?
There is a misconception that women are not as capable of being high-impact entrepreneurs as men. This could not be further from the truth. Women have many unique strengths and qualities that make them perfectly suited for entrepreneurship.
To unleash their full potential, however, they need to overcome some common barriers that hold them back, such as cultural conditioning and lack of access to capital and networks.
Here are my thoughts on this topic. Thank you Gulf News for the feature.
Starting a business isn’t easy, and it can be especially difficult for women. That’s why high-impact entrepreneurship is so important. It involves combining capital, talent, and market access to create a winning formula that can help level the playing field for female entrepreneurs. There is a misconception that women are not as capable of being high-impact entrepreneurs as men. This could not be further from the truth. Women have many unique strengths and qualities that make them perfectly suited for entrepreneurship. To unleash their full potential, however, they need to overcome some common barriers that hold them back, such as cultural conditioning and lack of access to capital and networks. Let’s take a closer look at how capital, talent, and market access can come together to create the recipe for success. Capital Having enough capital is essential for any business—and especially so when you’re trying to start a high-impact company. That means having access to startup funds, venture capital, and other forms of financing that will enable you to get your business off the ground and running smoothly. Unfortunately, women still face greater barriers in accessing capital than their male counterparts—but fortunately, there is a growing number of organizations out there dedicated to helping female entrepreneurs secure the funding they need. Talent The right talent is critical if you want your business to succeed—and yet women are still under-represented in positions of power within many organizations. Women-led startups often struggle with finding qualified candidates who can fill key roles within their companies. This is why it’s important for women entrepreneurs to seek out networks and programs that specialize in connecting them with talented professionals who have similar goals and ideals. Organizations such as Women Who Code can be invaluable resources here. Locally, NAMA Women Advancement Establishment is an example of a public non-profit organization that works to advance female human capital. Market access Market access is key if you want your business to reach its full potential. This means having access not only to customers but also strategic partners and suppliers who can help you grow your business in new directions. Women often face obstacles here as well. However, there is a number of support networks specifically designed to help female entrepreneurs gain more visibility in the marketplace. For example, Coralus, formerly SheEO, is an ecosystem that supports, finances and celebrates women. Such initiatives can go a long way toward helping female-led businesses achieve their goals and make an impact on the world around them. According to a study by the Kauffman Foundation, the number of women starting businesses has increased by 18 per cent in the last decade. While this number is still lower than the number of male entrepreneurs, it’s on the rise. What’s driving this trend? There are many factors at play, but one key reason is that more and more women are realizing they don’t have to choose between having a career and having children. They can have both. This newfound power and flexibility is giving more women the confidence to start their own businesses. Women have long been seen as the backbone of entrepreneurship, yet they are still vastly under-represented in high-impact businesses. Combining these three elements—capital, talent, and market access—is essential for creating an effective high-impact entrepreneurship strategy that will enable women entrepreneurs to succeed on their own terms. Fortunately, there are now many organizations dedicated to helping female founders unlock this winning formula and make their mark on the world. With the right combination of resources, anyone can become a successful entrepreneur—regardless of gender.