Women and self-confidence for entrepreneurship

When women take on the challenge of creating a business, they can provide for their families. INEGI data indicate that women own 36.6 percent of MSMEs. From the age of 12, women dedicate 39.7 hours a week to unpaid household and care work; men, 15.

Women and self-confidence for entrepreneurship
From the age of 12, women dedicate 39.7 hours a week to unpaid household and care work; men, 15. Photo by Nataliya Smirnova / Unsplash

The first obstacle faced by women to start or create their own business is to trust those who tell them they cannot do it; this is their first challenge to overcome; besides, low self-esteem generates greater difficulties for them, said businesswoman Susana Becerril Valdés, before students of the Faculty of Accounting and Administration (FCA) of UNAM.

According to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), women own a third (36.6 percent) of micro, small and medium-sized establishments in manufacturing, commerce, and private non-financial services. In 20 years as a consultant in support of Small and Medium Enterprises, she has identified low self-esteem, although there are women with potential and what they want to do they achieve.

According to the 2020 Population and Housing Census, 51.2 percent of the population is made up of women, that is, 64 million 540 thousand 634. In academic terms, 65 percent of women entrepreneurs have university studies, compared to 53 percent of men. As for their earnings, the Mexican Association of Women Heads of Business reports that they allocate more than 70 percent of this resource to their community or family.

Among the reasons that drive them to become entrepreneurs, 29 percent do it to generate economic independence and have their own business, 20 percent to improve their quality of life; another 20 percent to generate a change in their field of interest; 18 percent to continue with the family business and 13 percent to find a means of income after the loss of a job. The first study conducted on the subject, in 1999, indicated that 14 or 15 percent started a business; today the figure is close to 45 percent, which can be attributed to the change in lifestyle, because before the expectation was to get married and have children.

In several cases, they only have the desire to do something, but they have low self-esteem, are divorced, have no money, have various problems, and do not believe they can do it. However, when they become determined, they improve in every way. The first thing that is required to be an entrepreneur, emphasized by the also professor, is to have the decision to do it and then clearly define the idea since it will be the fundamental part to start a business.

"No one can get anywhere waiting for others to guess what I want; when you write down the idea, no one is going to copy what you want to do. Write, avoid terms that nobody understands, be clear, to whom you are going to sell, what you want to sell, how you want to sell", suggested Becerril Valdés. Preparation is also required since successful businesses are those in which people understand how things work, study and become experts in the line of business in which they operate. This leads to the creation of a creative, innovative model, where they offer what others cannot.

Crisis in the tasks of care

Participating in the last session of the Habitable City for All Seminar, "Rethinking the city from the perspective of care", organized by the University Program of Studies on the City, Lucía Pérez Fragoso, said: "The pandemic aggravated existing problems, including gender violence, increased poverty, general inequalities between women and men, maternal deaths and care crisis: The pandemic aggravated problems that existed, including gender violence, increased poverty, inequalities in general between women and men, maternal deaths and care crisis.

"Those of us who have sustained life during the pandemic are women. Domestic and care work within households, is what has made it possible to continue functioning in this city; they encompass a large number of activities necessary to sustain life." The main characteristic of caregiving, she added, is that it is fundamentally unpaid, an aspect of female identity; that is, men provide and women take care. This is the social division of labor, "which is at the base of the structure of social organization".

Despite the evolution and presence of women in the labor market, the situation of unpaid domestic and care work, in which men do not participate, has not changed. On average, women aged 12 and over, spend 39.7 hours a week on unpaid household and care work, while men spend 15 hours. While in paid activity, 37 hours and 47, respectively. Older, more educated and educated men are the ones who collaborate with domestic and care work.