Female entrepreneurs in Africa have made a name for themselves in various sectors such as Fashion, Information Technology, Food and Entertainment; even when some men in the society still believe that their wives belong to the kitchen, the living room and the other room – Did I hear you mention a name?
In 2013, Gates and Clinton Foundations revealed that 41% of women in Nigeria are entrepreneurs compared to about 10% in the US and 5.7% in the UK. While this is indeed something to be proud of, female entrepreneurs in Africa often face unique challenges not typically shared by their contemporaries across the world. Data from National Women’s Business Council shows that female entrepreneurs start business with 50% less capital than male counterparts and this make me ponder on what female entrepreneurs in Africa need to do, in order to become successful.
The following are 4 useful tips to help female entrepreneurs in Africa succeed in their entrepreneurial journey. Whether you are an aspiring female entrepreneur, new in business or have been at it for years, this tips are definitely useful to becoming a success.
#1) Be Credible
Getting people to believe in you and your vision is perhaps one of the biggest challenges that female entrepreneurs have to overcome. The marketplace is dominated by male professionals and this places heavy pressure on female entrepreneurs. On top of the stereotypes directed to women, a lot of doubts will be directed to your expertise and line of products. You must endeavour to be credible and create products that speak for themselves. Desist from giving false information, do your research diligently and look for opportunities to solve societal challenges using your products. This way, you can get other women, and men to believe in what you are doing and take you seriously.
#2) Overcome self-Doubt & Be Confident
When starting out in business, it is not uncommon to have people doubt themselves and their abilities. However, the reality is, for you to convince someone to buy your product or service, you need to appear confident and believe in the product. While it is important to be the expert, when it comes to interacting with people, selling your idea and making presentations, your soft and people skills is required more than the technical know-how. You must be confident in your ability and you can choose to ignore the little voice of doubt and fear.
#3) Connect to build strong Networks
Business is all about networking and you need to make use of all the support you can get in order to succeed. Networks help you keep abreast with market trends and new opportunities. Attend events, tradeshows and meetups that relate to your sector and a good network will surely provide good support for mentorship and business partnerships. Remember, social capital is as important as financial and human capital.
#4) Achieve Work-Life Balance
As you continue in your entrepreneurial journey, you will realize that you will get busier each day while the visions of productivity and calm are often blurred out by demands and responsibilities beyond your control. At this point, you need to come up with a set of hours allocated for your personal life in order to manage your home and business productively. Remember, success will be measured on both fronts, so you have to take care of both. Make use of technology, hire a team that you can trust and most importantly, learn to take a break from everything; go to a spa, reflect or do something you love.
These are just a few tips that will help you become successful as female entrepreneur. Do you have any other tips to add? Let us know in the comments.