struggles faced by women entrepreneurs

We will forever be remembered as the generation that lived through two recessions, the Great Recession of 2008 and the COVID induced recession. More than 114 businesses have filed for bankruptcy in March alone. Though the condition has been getting better in the past two months, we still have a long way to go before we fully recover from it. 

But the good news is, a crisis like this often paves the way for new innovations and developments. Uber, the ride-sharing platform, was founded during the great recession. And now, we are already witnessing the boom of telemedicine, online tutoring, and delivery services. 

How can Entrepreneurs help our economy recover from the recession?

Entrepreneurs play a vital role in helping our economy grow during both good and bad economic times. During the 2008 recession, the banking and real estate industry took the worst hit. Many lost their savings, home, and jobs. But entrepreneurs helped turn the economy around by providing both long and short-term job opportunities. 

Not only that, new businesses or services stimulate the growth of related businesses or services that are needed to support the said business, thus creating even more jobs. 

How women-owned businesses served as the foundation for economic recovery in the Great Recession?

According to statistics, during the great recession, women-owned businesses and businesses owned by people of color helped stimulate the economy by creating more than 1.8 million jobs between 2007 and 2012.  

Investing in women-owned businesses:

Over the past few years, women-owned businesses have been growing fast. Women entrepreneurs often concentrate on fields like Healthcare, Professional /educational /technical services (lawyer, teacher, architects, etc.) and other services (hair and nail salon, spa, etc..,) which can be both profitable and leave a positive impact on the society. 

But still, women founders continue to struggle in accessing capital to start or grow their business. A survey showed that women entrepreneurs received only 2.2% or just $2.9 billion of the total $130 billion of 2018 venture capital dollars, which is less than half of the investment when compared to men.

Gender-based bias:

“Nobody talks about entrepreneurship as a survival, but that’s exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking. Running that first shop taught me business is not financial science; it’s about trading: buying and selling.”  —Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop

While men get asked questions like how he is planning to make money, women get asked questions like how they will prevent losing the investor’s money. 

A team of Columbia University researchers went through almost 200 videos of both men and women entrepreneurs pitching at a TechCrunch funding competition in New York and made an interesting discovery. 

According to their research, the words investors used when asking questions to men were gain, hope, ideal, accomplish, achieve, aspire, obtain, earn, expand, and grow. 

Meanwhile, the questions asked by investors to women included words like accuracy, afraid, anxious, avoid, careful, conservative, defend, fear, loss, obligation, and pain. 

Which only proves that even in the 21st century, gender-based bias still exists. 

Bottom line:

Women have proved to stimulate the growth of the economy by providing the needed products, services, and jobs. But still, they are faced with many challenges to even start a business. And now, with this pandemic in the equation, things have only gotten more difficult for them. So, it is our job to show our support and help their business grow. 


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