‘LAKSHMI’ – The goddess of wealth is often used to address the woman of the house in an Indian household. Though in reality they have not been encouraged to be part of financial decisions of the house or business. Even with the advancement of our society, women are not much encouraged to explore the entrepreneur skills of theirs expect in running a household.
As a Business Coach I come across many women start-ups. And while I sit across to discuss on purpose & goals, there is a broad similarity among them. Broadly there are few trigger points for a wonderful journey they start in their life – starting from supporting family, finding their identity, living their passion to freedom and work life balance.
There is not much difference from an idea perspective – whether it’s a man or woman who starts the venture but what makes the journey different is how we as a society look towards her and how she herself perceives her journey.
When I glance back at my journey, when I joined my family business of Manufacturing Automotive Spare Parts, I recollect the noise that used to be around. It was only strong support of my father who enabled me to overcome the teething problem. I intentionally mentioned teething problem. The world accepts you once you prove your credibility.
Alike the challenge I came across there are several issues that a woman rendezvous. To list a few
- Mixed signals while networking - does her new contact want her to be Facebook friend or LinkedIn contact?
- Outright requests for sexual favours - someone offers to introduce her to someone who can help her business but not for free, with a hidden intent.
- Fundraising difficulties - the majority of investors are men and some prefer not to fund women as they lack trust on commitment or continuation of the venture.
- Not taken seriously
Startup Challenges - A Women Entrepreneur - Business Specific
- Struggle to achieve growth
- Difficulty to reach out to resources
- Gender Based Barriers
- Lack of access to formal finance mechanisms; limited mobility and access to information and networks, etc.
With the evolving society and reforms in India today, women get lots of support from Government, Associations & Bank initiatives as well several private initiatives alike Zhep Udyogini in Maharashtra.
Unitus is one of such funding schemes that help Women Entrepreneurs.
MSME offers special rebates and schemes to support & nurture Women Entrepreneur. Government of Gujarat has declared special Zone for Women run units in Manufacturing segment.
Current time is the ripe time for Women to explore her entrepreneur journey. With lot of help available.
10 key things to prioritize for success & growth
- Clarity – Define what you want to start
- Goals and Milestones – Set your 1 year Goal
- Manage your time – Define your working hours in a day
- Build your team – Create a buy in your Family & friends. They are your Brand Ambassador
- Know your Balance Sheet – Understand Taxation, Profitability, Inflows & Outflows
- Networking to increase your Net worth – Network in Real World ex – Rotary, Lions Club, BNI, Saturday Club, etc & Virtual World – Linkedin, Feedwiser, etc.
- Marketing & Sales – Design Marketing & Sales strategies. Use digital platform
- Ask for help – Hire a consultant / coach for Strategy, Taxation. Encash on government support offered to Women specially.
- Student for life – Keep on adding value and upgrading your knowledge in domain.
- Sustain, Sustain & Grow – Don’t be in hurry to expand.