For centuries, women have to been inured to staying at home to take care of their husbands and children; doing manual jobs like cooking, cleaning, and birthing babies. It took a lot of years for women to own their rights and be able to diverge from the duties assigned to them buy the society. Unfortunately, their contribution to the economy is rarely recognised.
Women’s involvement in lifting the economy is definitive. However, it is its acknowledgement by the society that remains impossible to reach. Women have embraced silence as an inherent virtue; we are not encouraged to speak up about our achievements. While this remains a social debate, there is an increase in women appearing in spaces originally occupied by men. Spaces such as the economy, health, politics, technology sectors, and so on are now been occupied by women. It is not that women were not qualified for these jobs, it is that women were not encouraged to see these positions as spaces to pursue.
Thankfully, things are changing globally. However, while these big spaces are being filled up with qualified women, we must also recognise the importance of educating women to fill up spaces that might seem small or simple. How? At least by encouraging more women to consider starting up SMEs and home-based businesses.
More women are contributing to the economy by developing business right from their home. It is an effective way to empower themselves and to be financially buoyant to support themselves and their homes. Some reports show women in rural communities supporting themselves with small business enterprises. While some turn their skills into business opportunities, others learn new crafts and home-based skills into money-making opportunities. While in developed countries such as the UK, there are women who are considering SMEs combined with their professional jobs. This is made possible for so many reasons but the major part is through social media and the internet at large.
Technology has made life easier especially for women in developed countries. More women are becoming confident enough to capitalise on social media to boost their business. Social media has grown from mere communication platforms into a marketing channel and it is safe to say women are taking advantage of that. It is left to them to analyse which platform better serves their business and helps them reach their target audience. Social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Whatsapp, Google, and so on. For instance, YouTube and WordPress have become spaces for women to find a niche and create digital content that serves a purpose. Niches like beauty, lifestyle, technology, and many others have been occupied by women of all ages. Women are sharing their inputs, skills, and advice to a worldwide audience daily.
Small businesses and start-ups founded by women are thriving because they are overseeing its progress and journey which in turn contributes to the economy. Through social media marketing strategy, small and medium enterprises are handled even from the comfort of our homes. It is easier these days to use technology to find your target audience which will further lead to paid customers. How do we encourage more women to venture into entrepreneurship? How do we let them see their involvement in boosting the global economy? By providing the right tools needed for them to succeed. It does not matter
whether a business is on a small scale or large scale, it will only grow when provided with the right tools. Our website Mummway dedicates a large part of our goals to women who are interested in starting up their own SMEs or home-based businesses. We are working towards the provision of absolute solutions and start-up training courses for up to 1000 entrepreneurs towards the end of the year. Seeing as more businesses are moving online, it is imperative that we take advantage of this time and teach people especially women how to be financially independent and to be creative. We are going to delve into this aspect in another blog post where we will analyse the training process and how you can apply. You can learn more about our vision and goals on our website mummway.org
Furthermore, women should be encouraged to look into businesses that allow them to work from home. There is a divide between working moms and stay-at-home mums; a divide that is not only nonprogressive but also backward. It stems from the idea that a woman cannot be anything but a mother and when they dare to pursue a career, they are suddenly not doing enough. We must get rid of this mentality. Women should be more confident in their efforts and contributions whether they are stay-at-home mums or career mums. This idea will encourage women to be flexible; they would not need to stay rigid in societal expectations of what a woman should be.
Women can also utilize SMEs to improve their entrepreneurial skills. Women are encouraged to not only take a different path than they were made to believe, but they are also encouraged to practise excellent communication skills. Starting up a business will improve inter-personal relationships with people and in turn improve women’s negotiation skills. It will help them manage their finances, employ other people to work for them, improve their leadership skills, and boldly accept challenges that may arise in business.
In conclusion, women have been using their strategic thinking, organizational skills, and entrepreneurial skills to help lift the economy for many years. We should not let this moment when technology has made it easier to start a business especially small and medium business enterprises pass women by. They should be given opportunities to pitch their ideas and own their own business even while working from home. We should also encourage them to be confident in speaking about their businesses. Their efforts cannot go unrecognised any longer, the future of the global economy rests on both men and women using their gifts, skills, and talents to help boost our economy.