Lack of businesswomen: Why?


Entrepreneurship is the key to growth and progress of any country, since it leads to job creation. Pakistan faces a lot of issues in entrepreneurial promotion, especially for women. Laura D. Tyson, a professor of business administration and economics at the University of California (Berkeley) and co-author of the WEF report, states that ‘A nation’s competitiveness depends significantly on whether and how it educates and utilizes its female talent. To maximize its competitiveness and development potential, each country should strive for gender equality.” But where do we stand as Pakistanis. Gender equality is a myth and it holds true in every field especially in entrepreneurship.

Gender discrimination is one of the biggest barriers impeding the growth of women in many spectra of life. The word entrepreneur is linked with men in our society. In many countries like Pakistan, India and Bangladesh women are pressurised by their families to stay in home and retain high standard of female modesty.

The other reason for lack of women entrepreneurs in Pakistan. Pakistan is primarily an agricultural country, and as of 2013, agriculture constituted 25.32% of GDP. The majority of our population lives in villages and their women work in farms and fields. That’s the entire span of their life. They don’t have the interest or the potential to give rise to women entrepreneurs.

Additionally, women are not given enough space for marketing of their start-up ventures. Marketing is essential element in promoting any business. But women face major constrains when it comes to mobility, social networking and going out of their houses for outdoor activities to get more information regarding the venture market and its possibilities of expansion by meeting people. Orthodox families don’t support their females to go out and talk to other males. Perhaps, harassment has become so evident in our culture that people refrain their females to go out and interact with males. Which is again causing barrier in female entrepreneurship.

Another major barrier is lack of education. In Pakistan a lot of women get deprived from getting even basic education thus it shatters the way to think broad and out of the box. More than half of Pakistan’s population dwells in rural areas, which makes them deprived of basic education, let alone professional education. Moreover, there aren’t many vocational homes either. So the lack of right kind of education is a huge impediment for those who aspire to be businesswomen.

Lack of sufficient financing is also a hefty issue women entrepreneurs face in Pakistan. Many females cannot fulfil their plans of initiating business due to limited funds and financial resources. The process of getting loan from the banks has become rigorous which includes a lot of hassle of documentations and high interest rate on loans but here there is a will, there is a way.

The media also needs to play an important role in this regard. Yes, our media industry has flourished, but only in sense of fashion and branding. According to Vision 2025 given by the Ministry of Planning, entrepreneurship-led growth is vital but can we achieve this vision when our women are not empowered enough?




  1. Lack of businesswomen: Why? Because ours is an illiterate patriarchal society. There is also generally a lack of entrepreneurship of all kinds here anyway irrespective of gender. This is due to the sixth century mindset our illiterate society suffers from. How to change the situation? Actually, there is only one way, the way 15th century Europe had adopted: put each and every child in modern-knowledge schooling at government's expense.

  2. Useful, practical, improvements in day to day life usually bend our expectations gracefully and sustainably. Incentives help. Perhaps tinkering with microloan requirements* to encourage female entrepenuership while also providing tangible benefits to families that choose to educate their daughters will help to grow a generation of businesswomen.

    ( *

Comments are closed.