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Challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in Australia and Zimbabwe a remarkable Corporate Business Consultant, Business Advisor, Leadership Coach, Celebrity Interviewer, Global Brand Ambassador . Dr.Hazel Herrington

Hazel Herrington is a remarkable Corporate Business Consultant, Business Advisor, Leadership Coach, Celebrity Interviewer, Global Brand Ambassador, Multi-Award winner, Humanitarian, and Philanotherapist. She is a Transformational leader who is passionate about equipping entrepreneurs to become the leaders they were born to be. She was born in Zimbabwe but later moved to Australia and now she is living in Australia. She is very devoted to her work, therefore her devotion to the work is highly recognized and she has been featured on many magazine covers, including Her-Grit, Global Achievers, and Business Booster.

In the last 10 years, she has spoken to more than 50 thousand people and empowered them through her various empowerment programs namely I Am Bible Distribution and Destiny Arise. About 10 years ago, when she went to the vegetable market and saw some women entrepreneurs selling vegetables at loss, it really hurt her and she decided to work for the entrepreneur’s empowerment, therefore she registered the above-mentioned charity programs and devoted herself to them. She has received global recognition for the award ‘Global Impact Award for Entrepreneurship and Community Building’.

She is very passionate about empowering women. She is working a lot for women empowerment especially in the field of business. In Zimbabwe, she runs business workshops and also women empowerment programs for women. She helped over fifty thousand women and youth worldwide also to become self-sufficient and assists them in becoming successful leaders, entrepreneurs by implementing powerful strategies and precise methodologies. Her charity program, Destiny Arise is to empower women and youth to become economically independent and self-sufficient. For her work, she was nominated for Australia’s Women for the year award and top 100 Women of Influence Awards in Australia.

The challenges faced by the Australian and Zimbabwean women that she is working for are described below in detail:

Challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in Australia and Zimbabwe

The last decades have witnessed the emergence of women entrepreneurs into what was traditionally a male-dominated business arena and women make up the fast-growing groups of entrepreneurs in a decade. But still, there are many challenges that women entrepreneurs are facing in a male-dominated business arena. Some of these challenges faced by women entrepreneurs globally and specifically Australian and Zimbabwean women are described below.

The challenges facing women entrepreneurs can be explained in part by the fact that women entrepreneurs are newer to the business sector than male entrepreneurs. Therefore, their experiences as an entrepreneur in a male-dominated market can be new, unique, and more challenging. It is an education that women received in developing countries, such as Zimbabwe, did not adequately prepare them to effectively and efficiently operate businesses.

Generally, women entrepreneurs suffer from low credibility when dealing with various stakeholders associated with their firm, for example, lenders, customers, suppliers, and investors. They have to face a lack of acceptability by certain sections within the market particularly clients make it difficult for women to run their business. Stakeholders don’t take the women entrepreneur seriously; they consider them the ‘part-time workers’. Generally, men are considered to have a better management style than women. According to Chijoriga, Olomi & Nchimbi (2002:3), in a study conducted on “Factors affecting women entrepreneurs in the MSE sector in Tanzania”, results revealed that in the course of doing business, women were sometimes seen by customers as assistants to men rather than managers and owners. Many men in our environment did not like to work for female bosses or dealing with women in general, preferring male company instead.

Marketing is also one of the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs. In Zimbabwe and Australia, women generally own SMEs or other small businesses. Small businesses do not spend on marketing. These businesses may suffer through a loss if they spend too much on marketing due to which their reach to customers is small.     

One of the biggest challenges they face while running their own business is a balance of work that how they balance work with personal life and from where they the most satisfaction. Women who have left companies thinking that free business ownership is the answer to the 'dual role' are often surprised they find out that it is not so. Small business owners have less freedom as compared to large business owners. Doing a business for women disrupts her family life. The marital status of men does not affect its business decisions, while on the other side family structures have a different impact on their abilities to focus on running businesses. Traditional gender role expectations and patriarchal attitudes in many developing countries such as Zimbabwe make it even more difficult for women to relieve themselves of family responsibilities. Women are supposed to go to work very late and close it very early because they are expected to take far more responsibilities in the household than their spouses. The time is taken up and the emotional burden created by these types of responsibilities often interfere directly or indirectly with women’s business activities in ways that do not apply to the majority of men.

Customs and social norms can, directly and indirectly, restrict women's activities by not allowing women to start their own businesses and by denying them to do employment outside the home. Some women entrepreneurs lack basic skills such as self-confidence, self-motivation, reliability, achievement orientation, assertiveness, and communication skills s to the virtual absence of mentorship opportunities.  Social, cultural, and traditional values are said to have seriously affected women’s entrepreneurial traits. Due to these environmental factors such as social and cultural values, women are said to give less importance to entrepreneurial activities and they are taught from the very early stage that they are subordinate to the men.

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