Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint-hearted; being a woman entrepreneur worsens the situation. It is a very different vibe for a female entrepreneur in Nigeria because several factors come into play to challenge the decision.
The reason is that the entrepreneurial space is predominantly made up of males. In Nigeria, it takes more than a decision for a woman to penetrate a field saturated with male folks.
Hence, every woman who wishes to enter this space must learn how to succeed in business as a woman to be able to stand tall. There are already women-building startups in Nigeria, paving the way for others to follow. Nevertheless, they are only a few.
How to succeed in Business as a Woman in Nigeria
So, here we are with the best nuggets to help you make it big and let your name be imprinted on the sand of life that you came, saw, and overcame.
Take a bolder step
To become anything in life, you must learn how to believe in your abilities. Your mind must be strong to accept your reality and not a picture painted by someone else who may be facing a different scenario.
Further, believing in yourself entails accepting that rejections, disappointments, failures, and being wrong at some point are all part of the process. Success does not just happen; trial and error is part of the big picture. They are great opportunities to learn and grow – you must be proud of yourself at every stage.
Accept that you are no longer doing 9-5
The traditional 9-5 cycle of a worker fits those employed to work for others. However, as a female entrepreneur, you are employed to work for yourself. Hence, every opportunity you meet is an opportunity to work for yourself. Being the boss is not a lyric; it is an action. So, to succeed in business as a woman, you have to ditch the traditional 9-5.
Thus, your time zone includes waking up in the middle of the night, working in transit, taking classes in the kitchen, etc. The odd times are your best bets because of anything that can come up. So, yes, you can choose when to work and when to take a break. But one thing stands out – you cannot always escape from work, even in your break-time.
You must embrace work-life balance
Every woman juggles family and career – everyone does. You need to have a life outside these two. Find a way to do things that nourish your soul and recoup from prolonged activities. If not, you will burn out. When you burn out, you will lack joy and peace and may snap at everyone. No one deserves to be snapped at, making it difficult to be around you.
Hence, from to time, you need to go to that place you find joy and feed your soul. That is one of the ways to succeed in business as a woman in Nigeria. As a result, you will become more productive and well-focused.
In addition, you need to adapt to the digital world. Since the eruption of COVID-19, many people have embraced working remotely. If that works for you, why not? You can combine it with office work and have days you will solely work from home. That would make overseeing the activities at home easier while keeping the work front active.
Live in the moment
Things sometimes get you stuck at a point or affect other stuff you have been working on. We make mistakes that could endanger our career, future, and every other thing we have spent years building. However, it would be best not to sit in a corner, beating yourself up
Things sometimes get you stuck at a point or affect other stuff you have been working on. We make mistakes that could endanger our career, future, and every other thing we have spent years building. However, it would be best not to sit in a corner, beating yourself up.
The reality is that you will make another mistake. We are bound to make mistakes as long as we are still mortal. However, it would be best to learn to grow through your mistakes. To become a champion, you must learn through the process, and making mistakes is part of the process. Identify some good daily practices that are outside your regular work schedule. For instance, you can learn to wake up by 5 am daily or make it a habit to use the weekend to check on your loved ones. These things increase your ability not to make mistakes.
Understand that you are a work in progress
No entrepreneur became an expert before joining the race. No one was handed a manual ahead of time; it is all a work in progress. This is why we talked about making mistakes. It is proof that you are a work in progress. One beautiful part of the journey is that you learn through the process and become immersed in your knowledge that you would be surprised at how far you have come. You are an evolving entrepreneur poised to succeed in business as a woman.
Every leader has followers. Therefore, to build a formidable team, you must learn to build focused relationships. Be strategic in cultivating your relationship. Thus, ensure to choose who joins the team while giving them a clear picture of what they are bringing to the table and what they stand to gain.
However, for everything to fall into place, you must have done some underground jobs. You must create an enabling environment to help everyone feel comfortable around you. Let your team be able to trust you and express themselves easily without having to deal with a bossy attitude from you.
Connect with other brands
While building a formidable team within the organization, you must ensure to connect to sources outside your circle. Reach out to other businesses in the same line as you and align with them. To achieve this, you can join the association that houses the companies in your locality involved in your line of business. Ensure to understand the wavelength they operate and compare it to yours. That would help you to see things from a bigger perspective and weigh your progress and the pace you are moving.
As you build forces with other brands, tap into the relationship and create a strong business network that is mutually beneficial to all. Having the same line of businesses is not about rivalry and envy but a healthy competition to help the community thrive. You can all put forces together and fight any external power that would hinder the progress of each business. For instance, if all the brands work together, you can confidently refuse every law or regulation that would stifle the mutually sharing enabling ground.
Do Women Entrepreneurs face Challenges?
Like every other individual, women contend with a variety of challenges in business. The daily challenges these women face are often different from their male counterparts. Nevertheless, they must overcome these challenges to succeed in business as a woman in Nigeria.
Some of these challenges include:
Daring social expectations
When you attend networking events, you always face the reality of meeting a handful of women in the gathering. These women sometimes have to be competitive and aggressive to meet societal expectations of women in business. However, the best approach to this societal expectation is to be oneself. To succeed in business as a woman, you must embrace the reality – you are a woman. Hence, you must find your own voice and not conform to the men’s idea of what a CEO should look like.
Lack of access to funding
Many startups needed investors to start their businesses. However, it is not so for some people. It is even worse for women to raise capital to start their businesses. To overcome such a challenge, you must look for ways to meet investors’ demand of growing their money. Therefore, a good product market will perform some magic. If possible, you can get female investors to support your startup. Aside from funding, they can encourage you through strategic educational workshops.
Read Also: 15 Hot business Ideas in Abuja
Own your accomplishment
Several reasons can make a woman downplay her value in a men-dominated world. First, if you built your business from scratch, you must admit it and enjoy the accolade. Downgrading your accomplishment by trying to acknowledge some non-existent entities do not encourage other women to become entrepreneurs. Instead, recognize your creative ideas through confidence in your abilities to handle the business.
Building a support network
One of the challenges to succeed in business as a woman is the ability to build the right support network. You need good mentors and advisors to offer professional help as you grow your business. Whom you know helps to elevate your success level in business. Hence, you can find some women-focused network events. Then, you can ask for help and be clear about what you need. You never can know who can support you. But first of all, tender your request.
Balancing work and family life
Although some women in business have identified ways to help them balance their work-life, some are still struggling. Therefore, you must find ways to be present at both ends to avoid one taking the space of the other.
Successful Nigerian Women in Business
Nigeria has prestigious women who have been able to succeed in business as a woman through hard work and commitment. Here are some of them:
#1. Folorunsho Alakija
Mrs. Alakija is on the top list when discussing successful Nigerian women in business. Over the years, even without a university degree, she has proven her ability as an entrepreneur. As a result, she is recognized both at home and abroad as a successful businessperson. She is the founder of Famfa Company Limited.
#2. Ibukun Awosika
She is a multiple award-winning female entrepreneur and the first Nigerian to be nominated for the 2008 International Women Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC) Award by the US Department of State. In 2015, Mrs. Awosika became the first female Chairman of First Bank. She also sits on the board of several other companies.
#3. Hajia Bola Shagaya
She is a business magnate who has built a successful business career over the years. Her business focuses on the importation and distribution of photographic materials. Her business Fotofair is one of the largest photo labs in Nigeria. Hajia is also into oil importation.
#4. Mo Abudu
Ms. Abudu is EbonyLife TV’s founder, executive producer, and host of the fave TV talk show, Moments with Mo. She has broken barriers by succeeding in business as a woman in Nigeria. She inspires many who want to be successful in their careers.
To succeed in business as a woman in Nigeria, you must learn to develop a thick skin. It is an arduous journey, and many have thrived on the path. You, too, will. Hence, you must ensure to start on a positive note. Encourage yourself and believe that you can achieve everything you put your mind to.
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