Let’s face it : men find it easier to access credit and other financial instruments for their businesses than women. And this has a name: gender gap. Toxic ideas such as that women spend more time with the home and family than with an enterprise or that they lack the skills to lead and manage a business have contributed to the gap widening.
According to the Ministry of Labor, if the unpaid work that women perform daily had a salary, it would reach a staggering $ 4.4 billion pesos a year. And if, despite not having a payment, women give their best in favor of their home and family, why not think that they would do the same or better for their companies?
In the last 10 years, the gender gap in Mexico has decreased by about 30% according to figures from gob.mx. However, despite these great advances, there is still much work to be done. One could start, for example, by giving women greater flexibility to balance their personal and professional lives, since they dedicate four more hours to home and family than men.
Currently, access to credit, training and accompaniment are seen in the future for female entrepreneurs and businesswomen as three areas of opportunity to close the gender gap in business. How will they do it?
Access to credit should be one of the priorities for those who have set themselves the goal of reducing and – why not – ending the gender gap in business. According to the OECD, there are several obstacles for business owners who require financing for working capital. One of them is that they are not an interest group for traditional banking, despite the fact that it has been proven that they are more compliant in payments compared to men; still others are the strict requirements, the request for guarantees and the high commissions.
The good news is that more and more state-of-the-art financial institutions, such as fintech companies, are transforming the way they serve the financing needs of women entrepreneurs in Mexico. These have created new financing services that are more agile, flexible and secure thanks to technology. Thus, today women can apply for working capital financing online and have an answer in a matter of minutes.
Another advantage that fintech companies provide in the fight against the gender gap in business is that thanks to powerful algorithms it is possible to calculate the future expectations of the business and the payment capacity of its owners, releasing them from guarantees. One more is the possibility of managing the finances of the business in an orderly and precise way from applications and other technological tools.
Training as a business strategy
Training is included in these new financial services for entrepreneurs. According to several specialists in business finance, training should be part of the business plan because the more prepared the businesswoman is, the more tools she will have to make better decisions.
Part of the fact that only three of every 10 entrepreneurs are women has to do, once again, with the gender gap. It is more difficult for women to access training programs and workshops for proper business management, forcing them to learn empirically, which exposes the business to very high risk.
Businesswoman: you are not alone
The accompaniment of a “strategic ally” is also of vital importance in the development and growth of any entrepreneur, be it man or woman. It is important to have the guidance and mentoring of experts whose characteristic is the offer of different tools that promote growth.
According to institutions such as the World Bank and the OECD, accompanying women leaders requires a focus on providing them with effective tools and training. The joint goal of promoting their empowerment in the economic, family and sociocultural fields. And this way of working of the new financial institutions is showing that it is the indicated way to bank the Mexican entrepreneurs and businesswomen.
It is clear that Mexico has steep slopes in terms of equity and closing the gender gap and these are challenges that will not be solved in one or two years, since it almost forces us to make a profound readjustment of our ideas, beliefs and behaviors. However, the best way to start a change is to talk about it, display it, and measure its advance or retreat; Only then can we understand where we are standing, where we want to go and if the route we have chosen is really the correct one.
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