Much is not said about women in business and the fact that they face twice the hurdles of making a name for themselves in the male-dominated industry has not been addressed with the seriousness it deserves.
In an ongoing Women In Business conference being held in Nakuru sponsored by Barclays Bank, women shared some of the struggles that they face trying to nurture their entrepreneurial spirit and have some space in business. Women naturally wear many hats. Balancing family, motherhood, flourishing career, and a side hustle require extraordinary strength. It gets harder when they have to source for external sources of finance to keep their business running.
One of the hurdles that they face is access to financing from financial institutions to expand their business. Some of the attendees complained about the many red tapes by banks that discourage them when they try to seek financial support. Male chauvinism and gender inequality are still prevalent in the business sector where their counterparts are looked up to as superior and well abled as women sweating their arses go unnoticed and unappreciated.
But how exactly do women break the glass ceiling and find lasting solutions to their business problems?
“The key challenge that stands out for women is the collateral for them to get the loans. But how can they access these finances? Through education, capacity building to make sure they are confident about what they are doing and they are delivering the passion they have for the business is what banks are looking for in women.
“When they come to banks to access finances, they need to come ready and confident. Though such a forum, we unlock their potential and remove the fears getting them ready to thrive,” said Susan Situma Head Of SME banking at Barclays Kenya.