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Fear of rejection, risk-averse and super-woman syndrome shortchanging women enterprises

Wandia Gichuru, the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Vivo Activewear

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 5 – “Unlike men, women are known to take rejection badly. They hate it and most times they do not know how to deal with it. Men, on the other hand, are used to rejection, whether it’s in the dating scene or the business world, they take it better than women do and when it comes to entrepreneurship, the script is still the same,” Wandia Gichuru, the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Vivo Activewear tells a forum of women in business organized by the Federation of Women Entrepreneurs in Nairobi.

Gichuru outlines fear of rejection as one of the many reasons why women entrepreneurs fail. Other reasons include being risk-averse, taking too long to make decisions and not accepting initial imperfections as some of the reasons why women’s businesses fail.

“We also struggle with letting go, whereby we want to be everywhere doing everything, which leaves no room for delegation. As a result, there is no time to perfect something which means failure,” she added.

Wandia, who is also a life coach, advises women to be open to change and to be okay with the chaos that surrounds entrepreneurship.

She also asked women entrepreneurs to do away with ‘superwoman’ syndrome and accept help in order to balance all their facets of their lives which will, in turn, support the growth of their businesses.

Kenya Private Sector Alliance Carole Kariuki challenged women entrepreneurs to instead be secure in themselves and know everything they need to about their craft.

“You have got to be confident if you are going to compete favourably with men and if your business is to succeed. You also need to trust and have faith in God because everything that you do will be impossible without Him,” Kariuki added.

The sentiments come at a time when the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report 2016/2017 has said that Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest number of female startup entrepreneurs relative to established businesses at 11 percent.

According to the report, 2 women in Sub-Saharan Africa start a business for every woman running a mature business compared to the lower number of entrepreneurs in other regions.

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