There is little difference in women’s entrepreneurship and that of men’s outside of social norms. These norms make the experience of being a woman entrepreneur be completely different. Here we show you 6 ways on how it’s different for women.
1. Start businesses out of necessity
While a great portion of women in Kenya are entrepreneurs, it stands that most of them started their businesses out of necessity. They start businesses as a means to provide income for their families. This is especially witnessed with the Mama Mboga phenomenon. These entrepreneurial ventures are small scale and informal; a factor which brings about more challenges to being a woman entrepreneur.
2. Less access to resources
A lot of initiatives have come up to cater to women entrepreneurs. Yet there is still a large gap in availing resources to women to start businesses. This gap in obtaining capital not only makes it hard to start ventures but also puts women already in business at a disadvantage. They are unable to expand their businesses.
3. Assistance in entrepreneurship
Women also find it hard to have support as entrepreneurs. Men tend to start businesses with other men. Usually, they do this with others of complementary skills and this hands them a huge advantage. On the contrary, women are more likely to be solopreneurs or rely on a spouse/partner as support for the business. Why women don’t venture with other women is not clear; we saw this joke on Family Guy and we do not approve of it.
4. Subdued entrepreneurial spirit
Low income women will readily take up the mantle to be entrepreneurs. Yay women’s entrepreneurship. Unfortunately, when in better socioeconomic positions, most women will venture out less as compared to men. This too has everything to do with expectations on a woman’s placing in society. This perpetuates the problem.
5. Absence in key sectors
Women are less involved, as entrepreneurs, in key sectors like finance and technology. Most of this is due to the tendency to not show equal respect to a woman’s standing in the business world. Many men, and women, are only comfortable with women being involved in other sectors. I used a lot of words to describe misogyny.
6. Cultural barriers
This is the root cause of the difference in women’s entrepreneurship and that of men. It’s a broad topic but we will bring out the core points. First of all, there simply aren’t enough women entrepreneurs at the apex to serve as role models to other women. Instead, women are encouraged to deviate towards sexual appeal and motherhood. These are not bad things but in the context of women’s entrepreneurship they present a huge opportunity cost. It’s proven very difficult for women to wrestle from this reality; with all due respect to the outliers 😉
Do you agree or disagree? Have something to add? Let us here you out in the comment section below.