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Women Entrepreneurship

Rearview shot of a young businesswoman looking out from a large window in the office

Entrepreneurship has traditionally been defined as the process of designing, launching and running a new business, which typically begins as a small business, such as a startup company, offering a product, process or service for sale or hire. In the 2000s, the definition of “entrepreneurship” has been expanded to explain how and why some individuals (or teams) identify opportunities, evaluate them as viable, and then decide to exploit them, whereas others do not, and, in turn, how entrepreneurs use these opportunities to develop new products or services, launch new firms or even new industries and create wealth.

As stated by Your Article Library and International Journal of Innovative Research in Science, Engineering and Technology, regions and sectors, the majority of business owners or managers are male (from 65% to 75%) in most countries so, finance, scarcity of raw material, stiff competition, limited mobility, family ties, lack of education, male-dominated society and low risk-bearing ability were problems that women had to face as entrepreneurs.

Women have also owned and operated businesses for decades, but they were not always recognized or given credit for their efforts. Often women entrepreneurs were “invisible” as they worked side by side with their husbands, and many only stepped into visible leadership positions when their husbands died. But a variety of factors have combined in recent years to contribute to the visibility and number of women who start their own businesses.

Research showed that although women and men say they want to be promoted in about equal numbers, women are 15% less likely than men to get promoted. The researchers say that, at this rate, it will take more than a century to achieve gender parity in the C-suite. Not surprisingly, women are turning to entrepreneurship to advance their careers more quickly.

Moreover, there is increasing evidence of more and more women becoming interested in small business ownership and/or actually starting up in business. In addition, rates of self-employment among women are increasing in several European Union countries. Although there are no official statistics relating businesses to the gender of their owner/manager, there is a good deal of evidence to suggest a significant increase in female entrepreneurship.

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor found that, in 2016, female entrepreneurial activity around the globe increased by 10 percent, and 163 million women were starting or running new businesses in 74 different countries for that year alone. Additionally, the Kaufman Index reported that 230 out of every 100,000 women became entrepreneurs each month during 2017.

More women are starting businesses to escape the glass ceiling. A study published in the Harvard Business Review tested the theory that women aren’t promoted as quickly as men because they behave differently. The study also found that men and women behave the same in the workplace, get the same amount done in a day, spent the same amount of time at face-to-face meetings with their superiors and scored equally in performance evaluations. These results suggest that the differences in their promotion rates weren’t due to their behavior but to how they were treated.

Myanmar is a Southeast Asian country where parents did not or may still not approve their children, especially daughters, to go outside in the evening or they make sure to get them home before the sun sets and that in turn, leaves the youngsters no choice but to have to set new ideas and creativities into action during their free time at home. So kids then have to try to be in compatibility with this crisis of the nation’s culture. But this does not stop many Myanmar women to become successful as entrepreneurs.

According to Tin Moe Lwin, a successful entrepreneur who is also the managing director of Talents and Models agency, the reasons as to why the gender discrimination took place were because of the orthodox traditions. Just as it applies to the men being wanted to be treated as a priority, there are also times when a woman wants to take a step back and prioritize men in her family. And it continued to be a natural thing to do so. Thereafter, bit by bit, men came into the thought of taking pride in repressing women. 

“But, as times passed by, women no longer have to stay still getting repressed and men also have realized that it is shameful to crunch down on women. In order for them to fully realize that, women still need to work even harder, believe themselves that they can do it and take the chance when an opportunity comes,” said Tin Moe Lwin.

People from earlier days considered that being a housewife is being dependent, in other words, unemployed, which is not true. The amount work they undertake, the amount of managements they perform and the amount of headaches they have to face as housewives is the same as men who are working. Which is why it does not matter what your age is or how much you can make, doing something such as SMEs, small and medium-sized enterprises, or establishing something which is not yet common by acknowledging and accepting what you are skilled at or gifted in is respectable.

Many studies show that women start their own businesses for a variety of reasons. These reasons include: having an idea for a business plan, having passion for solving a specifically related career problem, wanting to be more in control of their careers, maintaining a more balanced life, having a flexible work schedule, and taking a personal vision and turning it into a lucrative business. Along with the intense desire to see their vision carried out, women also have a great ability to multi-task and never feared the risks involved in being self-employed.

Many of the economic activities also engage workers to supplement available family labor. A large proportion of women who are self-employed or contribute to family-owned enterprises are often in situations of “vulnerable employment,” characterized by inadequate earnings, lack of social protection, low productivity, and difficult work conditions.

“However, women are still facing many issues in the work place, and being their own boss certainly is more appealing to some of the everyday issues they face outside of entrepreneurship”

Gender roles are still very much a part of their lives, but for some female entrepreneurs, they feel more in control when working for themselves. This is one of the best reasons to become a woman entrepreneur.