Women entrepreneurs play a vital role in today’s dynamic and evolving business landscape. While the number of women-owned businesses has been on the rise, there are still unique challenges that they face in the entrepreneurial world.
Despite the gender gap and the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, women in South Africa are displaying remarkable resilience and determination as entrepreneurs, according to the latest Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE).
The MIWE highlights the socio-economic contributions of women entrepreneurs and sheds light on the factors driving and hindering their advancement. South Africa, ranked 37th on the index, continues to face challenges in terms of supportive entrepreneurial conditions compared to other global economies like the United States, New Zealand, and Canada.
South Africa has shown growth in female entrepreneurship (21.9% of all businesses in South Africa were owned by women in 2021), particularly in necessity-driven entrepreneurship.
The challenge now sits around shifting these female entrepreneurs from necessity-driven to builders of sustainable businesses that create jobs and economic growth. Through initiatives like business development programmes for women, women entrepreneurs can navigate through obstacles and achieve remarkable results.
This blog explores the essential skills that can aid women entrepreneur development, enabling them to thrive in a competitive business environment.
10 Skills Every Woman Entrepreneur Should Have
1. Financial Management
Having financial knowledge is the most crucial skill for running a successful business and should not be outsourced. The balance sheets, registrations, contracts, tax exemptions and expense accounting might seem complex, but they play an important role in operating a company.
Understanding balance sheets enables entrepreneurs to make informed decisions about their expenditures while tracking business expenses and investments empowers them to leverage their returns on investment (ROI) and make strategic choices that drive growth.
By acquiring financial expertise through women entrepreneur development initiatives, women entrepreneurs can confidently manage their finances and make sound business decisions that contribute to their long-term success.
Having excellent communication skills enables entrepreneurs to articulate their ideas, present their business effectively, and foster lasting working relationships. Whether it’s through well-crafted writing or persuasive oral communication, the ability to convey messages clearly and convincingly can make a significant difference in how the business is perceived by others.
Business development programmes for women help women entrepreneurs enhance their communication skills and effectively communicate their value proposition, pitch their products and services and engage clients and stakeholders with confidence.
The ability to negotiate effectively can have a significant impact on long-term financial health and business success. However, women often face challenges when it comes to negotiating, such as reduced confidence or societal expectations.
Through women entrepreneur support initiatives, women can gain the techniques and confidence to overcome barriers, challenge stereotypes, and emerge as skilled negotiators who can advocate for themselves and their businesses. With polished negotiation skills, women entrepreneurs can navigate the competitive business landscape with confidence and achieve their goals.
4. Time Management
The ability to plan and prioritise tasks is an essential skill for managing a business successfully. Learning effective strategies to organise their day, multitask efficiently, and prioritise tasks can help women entrepreneurs avoid feeling overwhelmed and ensure that they focus on essential business responsibilities.
With proper time management skills, women entrepreneurs can optimise their productivity, meet deadlines, and maintain a healthy work-life balance, setting themselves up for long-term success in their ventures.
Establishing a solid network of people with relevant industry experience is essential for the development and success of a company.
Women entrepreneur support programmes provide a platform for women entrepreneurs to connect and collaborate and enable them to keep up with the newest developments in their sector.
By actively engaging in these programmes, women entrepreneurs can forge beneficial connections, access valuable resources, and interact with other like-minded individuals who can offer insights and support. Building a strong network of essential contacts and industry specialists can prove to be of huge help in navigating obstacles and opening doors to new opportunities for female entrepreneurs.
Confidence is a vital skill for every woman entrepreneur. Believing in oneself and one’s abilities is key to taking risks, making bold decisions, and navigating challenges with resilience. Confidence empowers women entrepreneurs to pursue their goals with determination.
It is essential to conduct in-depth market research and analyse the feasibility of the ideas.
Research abilities are essential for the sustainability of the organisation as they help entrepreneurs to assess market indicators, determine whether they have the resources to put up the required operation and decide what kind of marketing their firm will need, etc.
Women entrepreneur development programmes offer access to industry experts and mentors who can provide insights and clarity on various aspects of business planning. By leveraging these resources and conducting comprehensive research, women entrepreneurs can make informed decisions, identify potential challenges, and develop effective strategies for success.
Proficiency in technology is a crucial skill for every woman entrepreneur. Embracing digital tools and platforms can streamline operations, enhance productivity, and expand market reach.
From managing finances to marketing strategies, staying updated with technological advancements empowers women entrepreneurs to leverage innovative digital solutions and gain a competitive edge in the digital era.
Analytical skills involve the ability to gather and analyse data, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions. Analytical skills enable women entrepreneurs to understand their target market, assess the competition, and evaluate the effectiveness of their strategies.
Women entrepreneurs can enhance their analytical skills through workshops, training sessions, and mentorship offered in business development programmes for women.
A successful business requires patience and perseverance to develop. It requires the ability to overcome obstacles, adjust to shifting conditions, and maintain attention to long-term objectives. Patience enables entrepreneurs to keep a positive attitude, make wise decisions, and persevere through failures, resulting in sustained growth and success.
Developing the necessary skills is crucial for women entrepreneurs to thrive in a dynamic business landscape. To further support their journey, we encourage aspiring and existing women entrepreneurs to explore the women entrepreneurship development programmes offered by Seed Academy.
With programmes like AccelerateHer, our aim is to empower female entrepreneurs to build and lead high-growth businesses and disrupt traditionally male-dominated sectors.
These programmes provide valuable resources, training, and mentorship to help women entrepreneurs grow their businesses and make a lasting impact. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to unlock your full potential and take your entrepreneurial journey to new heights.