Common Issues Faced by Women in Funding a Business



Women have taken some amazing strides in the world of business today, and their presence and contributions to global business have indeed been noteworthy. Moreover, the business acumen and dynamism of certain women entrepreneurs have even made them world-famous. 

For instance, the emergence of female business owners like Kiran Majumdar Shaw, Sairee Chahal, Shradha Sharma, and Indra Nooyi, to name a few has ushered in a new era of entrepreneurship.

However, it is also seen that when women intend to start something on their own, things usually do not seem to favour them initially. Women company owners have to deal with a variety of issues, particularly when raising capital for their companies. However, despite the hurdles they encounter, women entrepreneurs have succeeded due to their sheer honesty and commitment to their jobs.

What are the Usual Issues Facing Women Business Owners in India?

Entrepreneurship is known to offer certain advantages like quicker career advancement, flexibility, and a positive reputation, and these have attracted more women to take up independent business ventures. However, there are numerous problems faced by women in India, which is why they constitute only 13.76% of all independent Indian entrepreneurs.

1. Financial Problems  

The first and the most important factor to kickstart a business is money, irrespective of the amount required as initial seed capital. Not all new company floaters look for external investors. However, those who know the right pitching process have better chances of garnering capital without making personal investments, and also in surviving market competition in the long run.

Women face certain basic problems like lack of moral and/or financial support from their respective families and a dearth of readily available funds. Moreover, most married women are usually denied a share in the family property, which adds to their woes when they look for funding for their businesses.

Additionally, women are also considered to be low-risk takers, owing to which external investors tend to shy away from them. Most external investors are generally wary of lending money to women, which becomes a major hindrance in their efforts to collect capital. 

Therefore, it is more advisable for them to opt for various government schemes and incentives or even bank loans that are designed specifically for funding them to overcome the challenges faced in women’s entrepreneurship.

2. Lack of Social Support 

Support from the family, society, and peers plays a critical role when one commences any new project. Here aso, another major challenge faced by women entrepreneurs is the lack of the required support and help from their families and society at large. Furthermore, they hardly get the right mentorship and appropriate guidance not only to start a new business but in making a success out of it eventually.

Moreover, as female operators in largely male-dominated industries, it can be highly challenging for them to get due recognition of their leadership qualities. It is also seen that they are often subject to negative or discouraging comments that not only kill morale but also act as great demotivators. 

3. Unable to build a proper professional network– 

One of the other problems in women’s entrepreneurship is that women may not always be able to build up a highly effective and fruitful professional network, which makes their businesses suffer in the long run. In fact, participation of women in both formal and informal elite networks is often discouraged also. 

Moreover, identifying the appropriate network isn’t always easy. While a few of them may be more women-focused and provide better networking opportunities, certain women find it difficult to state their specific needs to such networks and fail to get the desired help. 

Currently, most elite professional and business networks are male-dominated, which acts as a barrier to women. 

4. Limited Mobility 

Limited mobility is also one of the major challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in India. Most Indian women find it difficult or unsafe to travel alone due to security issues. Moreover, most female entrepreneurs have dual responsibilities to their respective businesses and families and need to balance both ends, while also achieving professional success. This by itself proves to be a Herculean task. Therefore, even though they may be financially independent, most Indian female entrepreneurs are somewhat restrained in terms of their overall mobility when compared with men. 

5. Lack of Education  

The problems faced by women in India include a lack of appropriate and adequate knowledge, as only 65% of Indian females are educated. Because of a lack of the right knowledge, they can be unaware of the activities and recent developments in the worlds of business, technology, and markets. This basic lack of topical knowledge usually results in lower achievement rates among Indian women. However, they need to shed their insecurities and dream big, while their peers also should encourage and motivate them to take up bigger challenges and succeed in the long run. 

6. Maintaining the balance between professional and personal life

Most women entrepreneurs have double roles to play. They are on the one hand committed to their families, while also being bound to their professional and business activities on the other, which again is a very basic problem faced by women entrepreneurs in India. 

Many women quit corporate jobs to start their own companies. However, the pressures and demands arising from both business and family force many of them to finally choose one. Those who face a lack of familial support are in a more difficult position and often find themselves managing everything alone. Even though certain women entrepreneurs can manage such dual responsibilities, it can be a very hectic, tedious, and difficult task.

Final Thoughts

Even though the scenario has been changing, there are a lot of challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in India even today, and every woman entrepreneur is having to fight tooth and nail to get a foothold in a primarily male-dominated situation. 

Hence, women need to believe in themselves more and also learn to ignore all the negative aspects of society. They are generally known to be more sincere, honest, and committed to their personal and professional responsibilities, and usually work harder for their respective businesses and families. It is also seen that successful women entrepreneurs of the past have inspired new generations of women to take up independent entrepreneurship. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the problems faced by women entrepreneurs in India?

The various problems faced by women in India are –

• Lack of adequate seed capital to start a business 

• Dearth of support from the family

• Gender inequality

• Lack of practical experience

• Limited mobility

• Maintaining a balance between business and family

• Unable to build a proper professional network

• They are not usually taken seriously

2. How must women entrepreneurs deal with the challenges faced in funding their businesses?

First, women need to have confidence in their skills and talent and learn to ignore any negative comments or feelings about their work. They must also look for a suitable guide or mentor and work harder to inspire other women working with them. They can approach banks and financial institutions for loans and funding schemes to get their seed capital.  

3. How does limited mobility act as an obstacle for women entrepreneurs in India?

Most women in India find it unsafe to travel alone, particularly due to objections raised by their families. Moreover, many women do not own or drive their own vehicles. These factors usually tend to limit the mobility of  Indian women entrepreneurs.