Challenges Faced by Women Entrepreneurs in Nigeria and Solutions
In this article, I will highlight some common challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in Nigeria and solutions.
It’s common said that “what a man can do, a woman can do better” same applied in entrepreneurship. Women in entrepreneurship are strong, dedicated and determined to attain success at the peak of their career.
As much as entrepreneurship is an interesting career path for women, it could also be highly competitive and demanding of balancing family responsibilities and business.
Building a business require having a clear understand of your business idea process from idea till when it’s finally launched. Then create a business plan by writing down your idea process in the best way you’ll understand what you’ve written.
By then you should have a clue of the amount of money that’ll be needed to take your business from idea to launch. What are your plans towards funding? Do you have the needed capital or you plan to seek funding from other source like family, friends, banks, or investors?
Once you have your funding, it’s time to implement your business idea starting from the first stage as documented in your plan. Check your daily activities to be sure you’re on the right path. Also check your results to be sure it matches your expectations.
Once you’ve gotten to the launch stage, you need to build a strong marketing team that can present your business to the audience who need it most in an appealing way that will make your audience accept your brand.
That been said. Yet, there are challenges faced by women entrepreneurs which could limit the growth of the business. Let’s talk about some of the common challenges faced by women entrepreneurs and solutions.
Women are the pillar of every home, since it’s their responsibility to take care of the home, the kids and even take good care of the husband as well. Despite all these responsibilities, most women still find ways to balance family and business.
A woman could get home after a stressful work day, do some laundry and cook at the same time, just about then the baby needs breastfeeding and she’s still catching up with Telemundo showing on TV in the living room.
Entrepreneurship for women require long working hours. It’s important to create time for your family and during your free time, concentrate on building your business. You could free more time for yourself by delegating responsibilities to others.
Outsource activities that can be handled by others and focus on activities that needs your attention most.
Some of your family responsibilities can’t be outsourced based on your commitment in marriage. Balancing entrepreneurship and family is about not neglecting your family responsibilities to get carried away by the honor, fame, and money that comes along with becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Inadequate Family Support
To become a successful entrepreneur, you need the support of your family. You need them to motivate you toward walking through the path you’ve planned for yourself. Most especially your spouse and kids. Discuss with your spouse why it’s important for you to become an entrepreneur and areas you need his support most.
He might need to make some adjustments and probably pick up some few additional home responsibilities as a support towards his commitment to helping you succeed.
Lack of Capital
Funding is a major challenge faced by entrepreneurs, at times the business could require more capital than the budget, that’s why it’s important to validate your business idea and conduct a comparative analysis test. This helps you understand what to expect in your business journey.
Your business idea validation require you to operate your business at a minimum level. If your business is production, create some sample product that doesn’t require much effort. It might not be perfect but make sure it serve it’s purpose.
Every business serve for a specific purpose. What’s the purpose for your business, why do you choose such business, and what level of business satisfaction should your customers expect from your business?
Your answer to these questions through business idea validation will guide you towards an estimated amount that’ll be need to build your business.
Same as your comparative analysis test. It helps you have an insight into the world of your competitors, the standard of their product and reasons why people buy from them. Use the result of your test to improve your business performance.
Fear of Failure
Fear of failing has prevented many women from attempting their entrepreneurial dreams. The key point is that it’s difficult to succeed without failure, 80 out of 100 successful entrepreneurs admit to have failed multiple times before attaining success in business.
That makes failure an inevitable part of the stages towards becoming a successful entrepreneurs. It’s difficult to succeed without making some mistakes at the early stage. The most important thing is to learn from your mistakes to prevent you from making the same mistake continuously and make adjustment where needed.
Criticism is a factor women entrepreneurs encourage at every stage of their entrepreneurial journey. This could come in form of underestimated of not being competent enough due to gender.
And also based on the fact that some business industries are dominated by men. They have a large share of the market place being known for delivering quality service within such industry. These could include businesses that require physical strength. People’s believe towards such career option could make them question the competency of a woman within such industry. They often mistake this for the fact that women can perform better in other industry that doesn’t require too much physical energy but requires intelligence, dedication, and determination to succeed.
Inadequate Time Management Skills
Time is money, not only money but time is everything. It’s the universal resources we all have an equal amount and yet some still manage to maximize it’s use to accomplish a lot of success in less time.
It all narrows down to how you spend your time, your daily habits and activities will determine how fast you’ll be able to achieve your goals in life.
Productivity and time management is a business skill you need to invest to help you take full advantage of your time so you’ll be able to set goals and achieve your goals within the time frame specified for yourself. And this will help you achieve rapid growth in your entrepreneurial journey.
Inadequate Entrepreneurial Skills
Entrepreneurship is not just about building a business. It’s about having a product, building a management team, and maintaining business tools (equipment). It also involves paying attention to your customers to understand how they want your business to serve their specific need.
These responsibilities come with lot of challenges that require an in-dept knowledge of entrepreneurial study. This will help you manage these responsibilities efficiently.
It’s not advice-able to start experimenting with your business capital, trying to figure out what works and what works not.
Having adequate entrepreneurial skills will help you reduce your risk to the lowest level. It helps you understand how to pick a business that aligns with your personality since not all business works for every woman. Your strength and weakness, interest in life, and passion will determine the kind of business where you will find fulfillment and be able to deliver better services.
Entrepreneurial skills will guide you towards validation your business idea, conducting a comparative analysis test, conducting a market research, creating a business structure that enhance growth, and many ways to raise fund for your new startup.
You also get to understand how to attract a team of professionals that will be committed towards helping you build your business.
Having a Business Idea vs Implementing your Idea
There’s huge difference between having an idea and implementing your idea. It’s not enough to assume or guess everything will work without obstacles. There are unexpected obstacles that usually pop-up at every stage of an entrepreneurial journey that requires professional business skills to help address and resolve these obstacles.
As an entrepreneur you need an in-depth knowledge about your product and service to help you deliver quality product that your customers will appreciate. Your industry and it’s key players is an aspect that require utmost attention and understanding how to build a successful business is another important factor.
That’s why it’s best for you to sign up for an entrepreneurship program from an instructor who understand the core requirements that’s needed to build a business that will succeed.
I have an online entrepreneurship course that’s dedicated to help you have a clear entrepreneurial roadmap, it demonstrate in details the strategies, principles and guide lines you need to help build a business that will become successful. These are principles and strategies that’ll help you build a new business from scratch, also grow and expand an existing business.
Low Marketing Force
Every product ends up in the market. Your marketing force will determine your success in business. No matter how good your product or service, it’s important you present it to the audience that will appreciate your product and patronize your business.
There are various marketing strategies a business may adopt based on your industry and mode of operation. Some business perform better with social media advertising while some needs a touch of search engine optimization (SEO). Other businesses might require sign posts in strategic points within the business location.
Understanding the most rewarding marketing channel for your business helps get your product across to the right people.
You also need to note that not every marketing channel works for all business, you need to figure out what will work for your business and focus your marketing effort towards such direction.
Unforeseen circumstances like inadequate investment capital or new government policies could limit the growth of a business. It could go far beyond that but the most important thing is to be aware that at every stage of your business there will be situations you never planed for and in many cases this could temporarily suspend operations till the issue is resolved.
You need to be at alert to tackle situations that might arise, before it escalate into a bigger problem that could permanently shot down operations.
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Conclusion – Challenges Faced by Women Entrepreneurs in Nigeria and Solutions.
Some of the key factors mentioned in this article include:
- Balancing Responsibilities
- Inadequate Family Support
- Lack of Capital
- Fear of Failure
- Inadequate Entrepreneurial Skills
- Low Marketing Force
- Unforeseen Circumstances
Entrepreneurship is an interesting career path for women once you are ready to put in the required hard work. Seek the support of your family, ignore criticism and condemnation from people with small minds who assume you can’t attain great success as an entrepreneur just because they can’t.
Don’t accept yourself based on other people’s definition of you. Figure out who you truly are, your capacities and capabilities and keep improving on your personal interest in business.
Be ready to take actions, chances are you will make mistakes buy don’t quite, learn from your mistakes and improve on performance. Soon you will become recognized, appreciated, and respected within any industry you choose for yourself.
I wish you luck as you begin your entrepreneurial journey.