Female entrepreneurs need encouragement along with financial support
DHA photoEncouragement comes next to flexible credit among the requests of female entrepreneurs, according to a recent survey, which also revealed a number of interesting factors affecting women who start their own businesses in Turkey.
The survey supported by Garanti Bank was conducted under the coordination of Professor Yıldız Ecevit from the Middle East Technical University’s (ODTÜ) Women Studies.
The survey showed the most important problems women faced while setting up a business were finding financial capital, dealing with the civil service, being a women and finding a balance between work and family duties.
Ecevit said the aim of the survey conducted in 15 cities with 304 participants was to determine the profile of female entrepreneurs, as there was confusion about who they really were and the challenges they faced.
According to the survey, the age of female entrepreneurs ranged from 22 to 68. A total of 32.66 percent of female entrepreneurs were 40 years old or older, and a significant number of them had already taken party in the labor force before starting their own business.
Family duties were a reason many women set up their businesses later in life, according to the researchers, as many of them would not dare to start a business due to family responsibilities like child care.
The survey also revealed the level of education was high among women entrepreneurs, with some 61 percent graduating from university. The rate of marriage was also high among women who have started their own businesses. In Turkey, only 28 percent of the women in the labor force were married. Marriage is considered an important factor that prevents female participation in the work force. Yet, some 72 percent of the women entrepreneurs surveyed were married, a significantly higher number.
A total of 56 percent of the women said they had not faced difficulties because of their gender, yet they did experience an attitude of not being taken seriously or disapproval for working at the same place as men.
According to the survey, women entrepreneurs’ first request and expectation was to have financial support.
They mainly expected a more understanding attitude from banks, especially in the form of flexible and long-term credits. They also said they needed moral encouragement before and during the process of setting up their business. They proposed programs to be undertaken by banks as well as non-governmental organizations aimed at boosting the confidence and will to succeed among women.
İlknur Yüksel Kaptanoğlu from Ankara’s Hacettepe University also contributed to the work, which revealed interesting input about women and entrepreneurship.
It was clearly evident, for instance, women got the most support from their families while setting up their work. After their husbands, their parents were their biggest supporters. The survey also showed the positive effects being in business has on women.
Some 61 percent said their self-confidence was boosted, 44 percent said they were financially empowered and 33 percent said the respect they saw from society had increased.