Are you an aspiring entrepreneur? Prepare to face these challenges

According to recent research, the proportion of new businesses run by women is steadily growing – from just under a fifth in 2017 to just over a third today. Female directors of UK SMEs are in the minority just about everywhere in the country, with the only exception being Carlisle, where there’s a just-about-even split between the genders.

Of course, there may be a whole host of explanations for this difference, and the issue is fraught with contention. Some believe this to be predominantly a cultural thing; others that there are innate differences between men and women that would cause them to prioritise different things in life.

Whatever the explanation, what’s undeniable is that female entrepreneurs face a somewhat different set of challenges to the ones faced by their male equivalents. Let’s take a look at some of the ones that aspiring entrepreneurs should prepare for.

Funding

To get the ball rolling, you’ll need enough liquidity to buy assets, hire staff, and get the business through those initial few months, where cash flow is inconsistent. To do this, you can either set aside a portion of your earning every month, until there’s enough there to get started with. Or, you can look to lenders who specialise in small business loans.

Gender Inequality

It’s widely reported that women are paid less, on average, than men. This might, on the face of it, look and smell a lot like sexism. And there can be no denying that sexism is endemic in certain industries – as you’re about to discover. But in reality, the picture is a little more complicated than that. If you really want to change the way the working world works when it comes to gender discrimination, starting a business of your own is among the best ways to start.

Fear of Failure

There’s a lot of uncertainty involved in setting up a new business. With the economic climate being so frosty at the moment, you might find yourself paralysed by the fear of making a wrong decision. While it’s important that your exercise a degree of rationality, it’s important not to let the fear of failure overwhelm you. The chances are great that you can do this; you just need to put a plan in place and get to work making it a reality. If you find that the fear is particularly debilitating, it might be worth seeking counselling – you can think of it as an investment, in much the same way as any other form of training for your new life as a successful businessperson!

About Monica Costa

Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums

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