Women leading their start-ups and growing their ventures is an idea that’s captured the attention of people all over the world. And while the “momentum” around women’s entrepreneurship has grown stronger in recent years, obstacles still exist. Therefore, Al-Tijaarat al-Raabehah organized an event on women’s entrepreneurship and the main aim of the event was to bring together some amazing stories and share expertise with participants on how to become a successful women entrepreneur.
The event hosted a few amazing women entrepreneurs from various fields and had a panel discussion with them to know their views, ideas, and opinions on how women can do wonders and be the best entrepreneurs out there. This program was conducted in Hyderabad.
The panelists included a variety of people, among them, were
Sherebanu Chass (Chief Administrator, TAS Hardware & Tools), Munira Hussain (Co-founder & Director, Blue Blocks Montessori School), Arwa Abuwala (Founder, Arwa’s Loft @ 41), Fatema Kanchwala (Founder, Sugar Blushed), Shehrebanu K (Founder, RYZ Fusion Yoga)
The discussion began with asking a quick round of questions to each of the panelists and knowing their experiences.
The first question presented to them was to share their failure stories with us.
To begin with, all the answers were so astonishing yet so inspiring. One of the panelists had her workspace destroyed in a natural calamity and that is what failure looked like to her. However, she did not give up. She said this particular instance for her was a bend in the road and not the end of her journey. With the help and support of her family she started from the beginning and set it all up and there was no turning back for her since then. For another panel member failure is not just one thing or one big incident, according to her small failures are happening everywhere every minute but it is how you deal with them, solve them, and get over them that they don’t even look like failures but rather become stepping stones and keep pushing you further. Also one of the panelists said she did not believe in failures but yes she did face some challenges and one of the biggest challenges was to survive in the male-dominated field she was in, but oh how beautifully she not only survived but reigned supreme. The bottom line was the definition of failure is different for everyone but dealing with it gracefully and learning from it rather than giving up was a common trait all these successful women had.
The second question put forth to them was how did they get their first 100 customers?
Everything starts with a customer. Customer satisfaction is of utmost importance in any field or any business. And when you start a new venture pulling in customers is the most important thing to do and making them come back to you, again and again, is all that your success depends on. Different panelists had different stories of how they got their first 100 customers. One panelist said she followed the unconventional method to get customers and it was very difficult for her in the beginning but she kept trying and once she reached the first 10 customers and satisfied them, the first 100 did not take much time. Another panelist came up with a brilliant idea of hosting seminars and talking about her ideas and concepts that would help parents and children of all ages of life, that attracted many people and gave people an idea of what this woman and her startup could do which automatically pulled customers to her. For one bringing in customers was as simple as doing her best in her job and word of mouth did the rest for her. For one of the panelists, her family and friends were the first few customers and the rest saw her work and became her customers. So what pattern we see here is hard work, dedication, and unique ideas were all put in to bring customers. It was not easy but it was worth it.
The next question they were asked was how do they manage their work-life balance?
Again an interesting question with some even more interesting answers. Work-life balance according to one panelist was not easy. In the initial days of her venture, she couldn’t balance anything and everything went downhill and that was when she wanted to quit, then slowly and steadily she realized she needed to find pockets of time. She built her routine around it and started working in it. It was difficult in the beginning but things kept getting better. For one of the panel members working in a family business, there was no work-life balance at all in the beginning. She laughingly said we spoke about family in the office and work in our home. Things started to get messy and that is when they took hold of the situation and set boundaries and created a balance. One panelist said for her the definition of work-life balance is the support of her family to an extent that they moved out and shifted to another location for her convenience. So it was her family who helped her balance everything. However, all the five panelists had one thing in common to say. They all said they always prioritized their family and their family helped them successfully run their businesses.
The next question was how they managed to get their finances?
Finance in any new business is always crucial. Especially for women entrepreneurs financing can be concerning because of social taboos. One panelist said her mother helped her with finance not because she needed it but because she would have the pressure of returning it and that is what would drive her to make more money. One member said they were self-funded while one said her products were made to order and so initially she did not require much of an investment. She was self-sufficient and slowly and steadily as the profits started pouring in she diverted the money into business again by buying machinery and other necessities to grow and flourish. It is so beautiful to learn how these women have been so independent and strong in the entire journey from bringing in finances to providing top-notch products and services. All of their work is commendable.
Lastly, all of our panelists to were asked to share a piece of advice?
This can be summed up with just a few lines told by our panelists
- Be Fearless.
- Believe in yourself.
- Be on top of your finances and have accountability for it.
- Be consistent and do not quit no matter what.
- Never stop learning.
These words look so simple yet so inspirational. Follow this advice and you are sure to go a long long way just like our panelists have.
In the end, women can do anything when it comes to business. Entrepreneurship is about taking risks and sometimes having a lot of faith and hope in what you are doing. What we need to realize is that women entrepreneurs have accomplished a lot of great things for themselves and the world. Women are naturally caring and nurturing, which only makes sense that they would succeed in the careers they choose. They work hard to achieve their goals and accomplish their dreams.
If you are a woman entrepreneur or planning to start a venture and you need any expert advice or help to validate your business plan you can connect with our expert women entrepreneurs on Al-Tijaarat al-Raabehah. You can book a 30-minute 1-to-1 session with our experts on the business advisory platform and make the most of it.