A 2020 study on the impact of the pandemic revealed a startling finding that 45% of women-led businesses that faced permanent closure do not foresee starting another enterprise ever again.
This not only broadens the economic gap between men and women, but also impacts women’s role in household decision-making.
Underrepresentation of women entrepreneurs is an issue developing countries like India have been battling for long. Moreover, The pandemic also brought along a series of other challenges which impact women entrepreneurs directly. Only 33% of the early-stage entrepreneurs in India are women, which globally ranks third amongst countries reporting gender gaps in business.
Apart from that, even when women do start a business, more often than not, they end up succumbing to the bias against women entrepreneurs.
So what exactly can help women sail through the journey of being an entrepreneur?
One element is self-confidence!
Confidence is the most powerful solution to closing the gap of women’s advancement – professionally and entrepreneurially.
While there exists an evident economic and entrepreneurial gap between men and women, there also exists a confidence gap.
According to a Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report on female entrepreneurship, only 29% of women in the world consider themselves capable of successfully starting a business, compared to 42% of men.
In India, stereotypes reiterated in social settings hold the power to make numerous women feel they aren’t “enough” to run a business; let alone owning one. Statements like “business is not a woman’s world”; non-involvement of women in the decision making processes at home; doubting their competence when it comes to finances. All of these subtly impact women’s self-confidence in more ways than one.
While women continue to come across situations where they are taken less seriously in the business world, it becomes even more crucial for them to step into their power. They need to become aware and let go of the unconscious biases they may be holding on to. Entrepreneurship is not for everyone, so if you are thinking about it or already running your business, you are already speaking up for yourself and paving the path for others.
How do we change things?
Here are a few other things women can do to reduce this confidence gap-
- First and foremost- BELIEVE YOU CAN! Honestly, if you won’t believe in your dreams or take charge of your life, no one else will either. In moments of doubt, remember why you started.
- Accept that failures will be a part of the process. Failures are only a redirection and are not a reflection of your self-worth.
- Get rid of guilt. Free yourself from the confines of what you should or shouldn’t be doing.
- Ask for more than you think you deserve. Self-Doubt will often make you aim for less. Studies have revealed that women set the bar lower for growing their businesses.
- Be you and catch yourself when your mind starts comparing your journey to others. Stay authentic and celebrate your successes.
Believing in your ability to thrive brings you one step closer to thriving already! Choose to be confident, because you’re extremely competent already!
Looking for support to increase your confidence, be a part of a community of other women or just focus on your well-being, Thiyah is accepting early registrations for its signature program launching this year – Stepping Into Your Power as a Women. Learn more here.
Know a women entrepreneur that may need this, go ahead and do your part by passing the information along.