I have an adult daughter who has decided to become an entrepreneur. I’m hardly surprised as she comes from a family who have discussed ‘all things business’ over the kitchen table for as long as she can remember.

With the recent International Women’s Day 2016 I have been thinking about the additional hurdles and sacrifices faced by female entrepreneurs, female business owners and female CEO’s as they strategically lead and manage teams in the marketplace. Success in business is hard enough for men. The difficulties faced by women entrepreneurs are increased as they strive to be great wives and mothers.

We know that of the 100 businesses that start today only 10 will be left after five years. Of those 10 only two will be left after another five years. Therefore only two from 100 businesses make it after a
decade. The aftermath of business failure can be catastrophic and can have a severe and long lasting negative impact on family members and associated people.

In my observation, a successful female entrepreneur consistently ‘top of her game’ has a great support team. As a Christian she will likely be an early riser devoting the beginning of her day to His word and prayer. If married she will also likely have a very supportive husband who will be helping behind the scenes wherever possible. If not married she will have family members and/or close friends who will be there for her. All in all, her support network will share practically and emotionally from the heart, her strong vision. They will know ‘what makes her tick’.

“Her husband puts his confidence in her, and he will never be poor.” Proverbs 31:11. 

“He says, ‘Many women are good wives, but you are the best of them all.'” Proverbs 31:29

As male leaders in the marketplace we have to genuinely be aware (without being patronising) of the extra challenges women entrepreneurs face to lead well as they seek business opportunities, productivity, profitability and maximum return on investment. In turn, I believe with greater understanding and empathy from men about women, our marketplace would be much more effective, efficient and socially and financially prosperous.

Greater male awareness would mean more women being promoted to senior leadership positions with well thought through allowances for women wishing to raise families. Particularly, hiring quality professional women for medium term rather than long term only. It is most beneficial to choose an
outstanding applicant for say one year rather than hire an average applicant for three years. Reducing the number of times we recruit and hire should not take precedent over quality personnel placement.

“She gets up before daylight to prepare food for her family and to tell her servant women what to do. She looks at land and buys it, and with money she has earned she plants a
vineyard. She is a hard worker, strong and industrious. She knows the value of everything she makes, and works late into the night.” Proverbs 31:15-18


James Benjamin

Executive Director Perth & WA | Business Edge