Empowering businesswomen in the ‘Third World’

Angela de Souza outlines the challenges facing many businesswomen in countries around the globe

Empowering businesswomen in the ‘Third World’

In ‘Third World’ countries, women entrepreneurs face a myriad of challenges in their battle to establish and grow their businesses. From cultural barriers, to limited access to resources and opportunities, the journey to success is often fraught with obstacles. 

However, exposure to the global marketplace presents a promising avenue for addressing these challenges. And the global marketplace offers an opportunity for these businesswomen to unlock their full potential.

Cultural And societal constraints

In many ‘Third World’ nations, there are deeply entrenched cultural norms and societal expectations, which often dictate traditional gender roles. Such traditions usually relegate women to domestic responsibilities rather than follow entrepreneurial pursuits. This is not too dissimilar to our own country during the Victorian age and before.

These cultural barriers can hinder women from accessing education, finance, and the networks which are necessary to secure business success. Breaking free from these constraints requires a concerted effort to challenge societal norms and empower women to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions.

Limited access to resources

Access to capital, technology and markets remains a significant challenge for female entrepreneurs in many areas of the globe, and particularly in ‘Third World’ countries. Financial institutions are often biased in favour of men, making it difficult for women to secure funding for their businesses. 

Additionally, a lack of infrastructure and technology further exacerbates the barriers to entry into the global marketplace. Bridging the resources gap requires targeted intervention, so that women can enjoy greater access to finance, training and technology.

Legal and regulatory barriers

Discriminatory laws and regulations can also pose significant hurdles for women entrepreneurs in ‘Third World’ countries. In many ways, these provide some of their biggest barriers to business success.

Legal frameworks that favour male-owned businesses clearly impede the entrepreneurial endeavours of women. These discriminatory laws restrict a woman’s ability to own property or access credit.

Addressing these barriers requires advocacy. Without public support or the influence of developed global powers, it is much more difficult to conjure up relevant reform in ‘Third World’ nations. The ultimate aim is to reform the laws, practices and policies that deny women the opportunity to enjoy the empowerment of participation in the world of business.

Limited networking and mentorship opportunities

Networking and mentorship play a crucial role in the success of entrepreneurs, providing valuable guidance, support and access to opportunities. However, women in ‘Third World’ countries often lack access to formal business networks and mentorship programs. This isolates them from valuable resources and support systems. 

By creating platforms for networking and mentorship, we can empower women entrepreneurs to navigate challenges, as they learn from experienced professionals. Women in these countries desperately require access to the opportunities that are available in the global marketplace.

Exposure to the Global marketplace

Despite the challenges they face, women entrepreneurs from ‘Third World’ countries possess untapped potential, using innovative solutions to contribute to the global economy. 

Exposure to the global marketplace can provide them with access to larger markets, diverse networks and valuable resources. Through e-commerce platforms, international trade fairs, and networking events, women entrepreneurs can showcase their products and services to a global audience. This will help to expand their customer base and enhance their competitiveness.

Empowerment through education and training

Education and training are powerful tools for empowering women entrepreneurs. Thanks to education and training, they become equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the global marketplace. 

By investing in entrepreneurship education, as well as vocational training, this will enhance a woman’s confidence, competence and resilience, as they face the struggles of navigating the complexities of the business world.

Fostering a supportive ecosystem

Building a supportive ecosystem is essential for enabling women entrepreneurs to thrive in ‘Third World’ countries. This includes creating a welcoming environment in which they can pursue their own business ambitions. There also needs to be access to finance and technology.

By fostering collaboration between governments, civil society, and the private sector, we can create an environment that will help women entrepreneurs to flourish.

In conclusion, women entrepreneurs in the ‘Third World’ face a multitude of challenges on their journey to success.  However, exposure to the global marketplace, through platforms such as the Women’s Business Club, will assist females to overcome challenges and unlock their full potential. 

By addressing cultural, economic and institutional barriers, we all have a responsibility to provide women with access to resources, education and networks. This will empower them to thrive as entrepreneurs and boost economic growth in their own communities and beyond.

Angela De Souza
Angela De Souza

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