Businesses Walking (Proudly) in Heels
Will there be a day when the female entrepreneur ceases to be a sub-group in the entrepreneurial world? How long will this journey take? Should women actively strive towards this goal? Will it assist them achieve more in the business world?
All questions regularly asked by those in the development of a level playing field for the economic empowerment of women entrepreneurs.
Perhaps we need to review how do we, as women, see ourselves within our individual business requirement structure, and maybe there should never be a “one size fits all” approach. Perhaps we should aim to view every opportunity created by the networks with which we are involved, and recognise that every business network can offer us something as long as we USE the network.
And therein lies the crux of the challenge, because it does not matter if our networks are exclusively for women or not, if we simply don’t bother to use them at all! So perhaps the debate should shift from “women’s networks” to “utilising networks”. Maybe only then can we evaluate just how beneficial a “women only” group actually is!
It is interesting therefore that when a group of Egyptian women was asked by Web and TV personality, Shama Kabana, if they thought a women’s entrepreneur group would be beneficial for them – someplace where they could connect with each other, share ideas, and inspire a group of new women to become entrepreneurs. The response was strong: they said they didn’t. At the end of the day, they didn’t want to be seen as “women entrepreneurs.” They didn’t perceive themselves to be a sub-group within a larger demographic. As one young woman said, “we are simply entrepreneurs that happen to be women.”
Given that response, is there a bigger question to be answered?
“How can the focus of women’s entrepreneurial groups become a greater enabler for the development of women’s businesses?”