How to talk to women about their entrepreneurial dreams
If you want to start a business, you’ll need to be very confident.
That’s because women have traditionally been under-represented in the business world.
For many, the barriers are much greater.
I want to be able to start my own business, says Joanna, 27, who grew up in South Australia.
“If you’re from a different culture, it can be really difficult to say yes to an offer.
I think that’s where people are coming from.”
I am confident, says entrepreneur,questioning for entrepreneurs article Here’s the thing about confidence: it can come with a lot of pressure.
But you need to build it, says the 26-year-old entrepreneur,who started her own business through an online course.
I am not a shy person, she says.
“What I learned from this course was that women don’t like to be talked down to. “
So I wanted to be a leader in the industry and give people an outlet to talk about their own journey.” “
What I learned from this course was that women don’t like to be talked down to.
So I wanted to be a leader in the industry and give people an outlet to talk about their own journey.”
Joanna’s story is one of many stories shared by women in the entrepreneurial community, but they’re all just scratching the surface.
The National Women’s Entrepreneurial Centre (NWESC) and Women Entrepreneurs Network (WEN) are two of the largest organisations dedicated to supporting and encouraging women to take up entrepreneurship.
For the past three years, they’ve been running workshops and conferences for women to talk business and start their own businesses.
“It’s really encouraging to see how many women are getting involved and doing things they think are important,” says WEN’s chief executive, Dr Kate Kwan.
“We really need more women to get involved.”
But there are other barriers.
For instance, the National Women in Entrepreneurship Association (NWIEA) has only been running since 2012.
For most of that time, the organisation has been dominated by women.
“The NWIEA has never been able to attract more than 20 to 25 women per year,” says Dr Kwan, who is also co-chair of the NWIEF (Women Entrepreneurs Foundation) – a women-led organisation that works to increase the representation of women in entrepreneurship.
“But we have a new leadership team in place.
They are actively working to make that happen.”
Women are still not included in the elite, well-known business community The biggest barrier is the lack of representation in the mainstream.
“There are women in all the best organisations, but the only women who get recognised are the ones who have a real chance of making it as entrepreneurs,” says the NWESC’s Dr Kwaun.
“Women entrepreneurs are a small minority, and they are usually not seen as leaders or as entrepreneurs.”
The Women Entrepreneur’s Association (WEA) was formed in 2013 and is led by Dr Kwen Wong, a leading figure in the community.
“They do have a bit of a history, but that’s because they are a smaller organisation, not a national organisation,” she says of the organisation.
“However, they have a great history and a great philosophy.”
The NWESCs main role is to provide resources to help women get involved in entrepreneurship, such as networking opportunities, advice and training, and mentoring.
But there’s a huge gap between the NWEs view of women entrepreneurs and the reality.
Women are not recognised as a part of the elite business community, Dr Kwaan says.
That can be frustrating for women like Joanna.
“That is why I decided to start the NWIEC,” she said.
Joanne, the entrepreneur who launched her business through the course, is optimistic. “
Hopefully, the NWIOE will be a stepping stone for other women.”
Joanne, the entrepreneur who launched her business through the course, is optimistic.
“You need to know that you can succeed in business and get that recognition,” she tells me.
I think it’s good to be confident, she continues. “
Because if you don’t have it from your family, from your friends, it’s very difficult to be successful.”
I think it’s good to be confident, she continues.
“Then you can talk to your mum, your dad, your co-workers and tell them that you’re succeeding.”
JoAnn says she’s proud of the course and wants to continue to make sure the NWISEA continues to grow.
“As an entrepreneur, I have to be proud of what I’ve achieved.
I’ve learned a lot from this.”
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