Madhavi Shankar

Founder of SpaceBasic

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Women Entrepreneurs - 5 Myths Busted

Women entrepreneurs who start out young are often told that they are inexperienced or lack the necessary connections to thrive in the business.

A common question that most women entrepreneurs are asked is “How do you manage it all” or “How do you manage work and home”? I wonder if these questions ever get asked to male entrepreneurs. The answer is probably No. Even though we have made great strides in the last few decades, there are still a number of gender biased, stereotypical and cliche questions that female entrepreneurs often encounter. It’s important to call out these fallacies so that it doesn’t stop other women entrepreneurs from taking a step towards their dream.

Let’s debunk a few myths

Myth 1 - Women-led businesses are side hustles

There’s a preconceived notion that women run businesses are small term projects that are not built for scale. If a woman wants to keep her business small scale, it may be a conscious choice and not because of her gender. A woman has the ability, skill and the leadership to grow her business the way she would like. We have enough examples of women-led businesses who have taken their business to greater heights surpassing all changes. The recent image of Bumble’s Whiteney Wolfe becoming the youngest CEO to take a company public is a striking example of how women have broken barriers and achieved success.

Myth 2 - Your age matters

Women entrepreneurs who start out young are often told that they are inexperienced or lack the necessary connections to thrive in the business. On the other hand, women who are older are told it’s too late to start a business. Building a startup depends entirely on your skills, perseverance and your idea. If you start out young, you will experiment and learn on the job. If you start out old, you will have the required experience, understanding and skill set to make your startup successful.

Myth 3 - Women are risk averse

For decades and generations together, we have been told that women are risk averse and they prefer taking safe decisions. These are stereotypes that have been attached to women. Though we have enough examples to show that women are risk takers, this perception that women leave behind lucrative opportunities to avoid risks is still attributed to women entrepreneurs. There are many who assume that women cannot take tough decisions. Risk taking doesn’t have anything to do with our gender. An article in INSEAD KNOWLEDGE states that women’s excessive caution is due to their disempowered status rather than to biology.

Myth 4 - Women can manage it all

I have heard so many interviewers ask women entrepreneurs “ How are you able to build a company and manage a family”? There is a very glamorous idea that women can manage it all. We have all seen these over the top advertisements and campaigns that portray women as being able to smoothly navigate it all. Let’s be brutally honest here - No, we can’t do it all! Nobody can. Entrepreneurs - be it men or women- need a support system that will help them manage it all. The support system can be your immediate family, women entrepreneurship groups, a house help, friends, a mentor or anyone that you can share your load with.

Entrepreneurship is hard and women entrepreneurs have a unique set of challenges they face on an everyday basis. If you truly believe in your idea, you will power through the challenges and create a long lasting business. Women are born with managerial DNA. From stay at home moms to working women, multi tasking is ingrained in us. The key is to ask for help when you need it, seek mentors who can guide you and don’t hold back if you have a worthwhile idea.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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women entrepreneurs leadership Female Entrepreneurs

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