Each generation finds itself wrapped up in its own battle. It’s a well-known fact, that for decades, the role women assumed in society was reserved for jobs that played to their strength as nurturers and carers – teachers, nurses, etc. Yet, when society found itself oppressed or at war, women became involved in ventures typically associated with male-dominated business models like restauranteurs, engineering, mechanics, etc.
Today, in the wake of a global pandemic, war, and political collapse, we find ourselves in such a time and women globally are rising to the challenge.
Through mainly education and progressive thinking, women have made great strides in the fight for equality and opportunities, and it is exciting to see women-owned businesses in the formal sector represent 37% of enterprises globally. Although this remains an ongoing battle, in most societies, women entrepreneurs are now encouraged and supported to cross the border from side-hustle to enterprise owner.
The world is waking up to the power locked up in the female economy as global investment is starting to be directed to women entrepreneurs according to Bloomberg: “UK government’s development-finance arm, plans to invest $6 billion over the next five years in Africa in areas ranging from renewable power and digital infrastructure to supporting women-owned businesses.”
The message we should drive home this women’s month is that entrepreneurship or senior management positions do not have to be a life choice where it means sacrificing having a family or chasing personal goals. It is not mutually exclusive, and you really can have it all. Although the majority of women entrepreneurs still operate as unregistered, informal, side-hustles, it is evident that when formalised and supported their businesses are more likely to succeed and this should be our primary investment initiative.
“A major shift in mindset is needed in creating suitable conditions to facilitate and encourage women entrepreneurs as a current network are heavily dominated by men, and it, therefore, becomes intimidating and difficult for women. There is also a need to create greater accessibility to financial services and nurture supportive entrepreneurial conditions for women.”
– Neha Bagaria, founder of JobsForHer –
What is this power that women need to harness?
Our power is the ability to shatter societal norms and conventional thinking and emerge as leaders, business owners and entrepreneurs on every level of society which will impact global GDP growth by more than 3% and make a serious dent in unemployment.
Our power is to inspire, grow, dream big, be brave and passionate about our future and that of the people in our communities. We need to seek and support powerful local women in business and draw inspiration from them while celebrating their achievements.
Our power is leaving a legacy by surrounding ourselves with people who are better than us and paying it forward by changing the narrative and raising a generation of powerful young women. Making history by telling her story.
Our power is being the master of our own destiny. By being our own keeper, holding ourselves accountable for our own successes, thoughts, and growth. When you are seeking solutions, first look in the mirror. Your biggest secret weapon is you.