It's a fact, no entrepreneur likes the thought of failing in business. But here's another fact - research shows that while fear of failure is the biggest concern for all entrepreneurs, women fear it more than men. Women who are considering starting a business should not be afraid of failure, and instead see it as part of the journey and an opportunity to continue learning.
‘Fear of failure’ is an important factor preventing women from making a significant impact in the world of business.
There's no doubt that for many aspirant women entrepreneurs, fear of failure holds them back from actually starting a business, or scaling their business to new heights. Women need to challenge the deeply-rooted notion that they cannot be entrepreneurs; or that they may launch a business and then fail, and such barriers hold them back from taking that vital next step. In the world of entrepreneurship, it's important to start out by looking at all the positive reasons to start a business, rather than overthinking the risk of failure from the get-go. Success or failure in business does not have anything to do with gender. It's about research and planning well; hard work and determination (in large quantities); and the will to succeed.
So, here are some inspirational quotes from successful women entrepreneurs on how to banish the fear of failure - hope they give you the courage you need!
“Success begins with a will. Go out there. Start something. Be fearless!”
Lorna Rutto, CEO and co-founder of EcoPost (Kenya)
“Do not stop - envision yourself where you want to be. Pack only of the best ingredients, and never fear the mountain.”
Nira Sklair, founder of Nira Sklair Photography (South Africa)
Don't let fear stop you....
"Do not let fear stop you from achieving your dreams. Associate yourself with people who are already in the industry that you are interested in and learn from them."
- Cecilia Mnisi is the founder of MMJ Interpretation Services, a Gauteng-based Interpreting and Translation Company in South Africa. The company specializes in Interpreting, Translation, Transcriptions, Recordings and Minute taking. Cecilia graduated from the University of Witwatersrand in 2002 and is a qualified Legal Interpreter and Translator. She registered the business in 2011 and operated on a part-time basis until she resigned from her full time job in 2014 to pursue the business full-time. Cecilia has attended the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship and is accredited as a Women Business Enterprise (WBE) through WE Connect International in South Africa.
Don’t be afraid….
“Don’t be afraid to be afraid, have the courage to face fear, and jump - there are lots of great things that happen when we decide to take risks. Take small steps and actions, instead of waiting for the right moment, you only make this walk learning by doing.”
Tania Tome is the founder of Ecokaya in Mozambique, an investment firm that aims to be a committed partner to identify and develop business opportunities located in Mozambique and Southern Africa with a focus on mineral resources business, real estate, energy, financial services, technologies, and green projects. Read Tania’s startup story.
“Feel the fear but do it anyway.”
- Deborah Sawyerr, founder of Sawyerrs’ House (Nigeria)
Do not be afraid...
"Do not be afraid to try. Do not be afraid to fail. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Find your added value and build your service offering on it. It is worth it!"
- Marie-Noelle Elissac-Foy is the founder of The Talent Factory, a boutique Public Relations consultancy in Mauritius. Marie-Noelle leads a consultancy business that specialises in crafting tailor-made Public relations & Communication solutions for businesses, SMEs, and start-ups. Before launching her company she worked in the media industry for over 10 years at La Sentinelle, one of the most important media groups of the Island. As Chief Editor, she managed various publications and editorial teams and also created Essentielle, a glossy women's magazine.
Face your fears....
"We all have dreams and talents, but fear always stands in the way of many people. My advice is to take the first move by starting small, face your fears, believe in God and in yourself and you will succeed."
- Yvonne Manyiki is the founder of Dimzique Enterprise in South Africa, a company that creates unique designs of earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings, barefoot sandals, hand jewellery, and other fine bead work combined with leather. Yvonne started in 2013 in Strand, near Cape Town, South Africa after deciding to turn her hobby and passion for beading into a business allowing her to showcase her creativity to the world.
You have to really want it!...
"Do not be afraid of your dreams, everything you are dreaming of is going to come true. The catch is, you just have to really want it."
- Judith Msonthi is the founder of Judie Emcee in Malawi, a business that offers Presenter, Host and Master of Ceremonies services for corporate, social and festival events. Judith is a trained TV presenter who has led two prime-time television shows and anchored for TV news and radio. She is very comfortable in front of an audience, which makes talking to a room and crowd filled with strangers her speciality. Judith is rapidly breaking ground on local and international media platforms.
Failure is not fatal....
"I have been an entrepreneur for more than 38 years. Some lessons have been learnt the hard way through failure - but failure is not fatal. It helps build character and learning for the next round. I value people and relationships and this is my most important asset. We need to be realistic. Often we are so passionate about an idea and cannot see the pitfalls. It is important to have an advisor/coach/friend who can help you have helicopter vision rather than being stuck in the forest. Be resilient. Believe in yourself."
- Lynda Smith is a social entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Refirement Network in South Africa, a business involved in helping organisations and Individuals 50+ to understand the opportunities and challenges that the future holds for this demographic group. She is an accredited retirement coach in South Africa through Retirement Options USA. Lynda has a real passion for children, women in leadership and understanding how South Africans can unlock skills development and grow the economy.
"Do not entertain fear. If you feel any fear (which you will) ignore it and keep pushing until you get to where you want to be. Surround yourself with support, like Lionesses of Africa, and find mentors to help guide you through your journey."
- Nozi Kubeka is the founder of Zon Communications in South Africa, a company on a mission to provide advice, support and life skills to young people through talks and workshops in schools, and youth organisations. Nozi is an entrepreneur, author and speaker who is passionate about transforming the lives of young people through empowering them with a powerful message of how to make wise life choices and decisions.
Don't be afraid....
"Network! join as many groups as you can! Understand your business or product as well as you can so that when you talk about your business you are confident! Talk about your business to anyone and everyone. Don't be AFRAID!"
- Bryony Parr is the founder of Oh So Organised in South Africa, a company that offers a professional organising service to get your home or office space clean and organised. This professional organiser finds it truly rewarding to de-clutter and organise a space whether it be as small as a closet or a whole house or office. Bryony believes a tidy workspace is a tidy mind and and organised home is a happy heart.
Don't let the fear stop you....
"Do it already! It's important to take the leap and make the mistakes early. Don't let the fear stop you; just jump and build your wings on the way down. As an entrepreneur, it’s important to be self-motivated and constantly create opportunities for yourself. In my career, I’ve had absolutely nothing handed out to me on a silver platter and there's no shortcut to the success you envision for your business."
- Emma Tandoh is the founder and CEO of Outspoken Edge in Ghana, a digital marketing and content development business that offers a tailor-made bouquet of e-marketing, social media and content marketing and web services for SMEs and women-led businesses in Ghana and across Africa. Emma is an ambitious, resourceful, multilingual writer, digital media and technology enthusiast. She studied Information Studies, Economics, and Geography at the University of Ghana, Legon, graduating in 2007 with a BA Honours in Geography and Resource Development.
"Don't have fear - no matter who you are and where you are from, your dreams are real and you should make it your business to achieve them."
- Kevine Kagirimpundu and Ysolde Shimwe are co-founders of Uzuri K&Y in Rwanda, a company creating beautiful handcrafted shoes with a unique Rwandan aesthetic. These two former college classmates shared a passion for fashion and a desire to start a business venture that would create much needed jobs for their community. Despite little means, they decided to kickstart their business whilst still studying, launching Uzuri K&Y back in 2013.
Never let fear get in your way....
"Never let fear get in your way, its just there to hold you back. Women are capable of doing anything they set their minds on, so they must never be afraid of challenges. We just need to think positive, always dream big, and leave no room for negativity."
- Innocentia Maine is the founder of MIS Poultry Farm in South Africa. She is taking her love of farming and building a poultry business that she sees as the first step in creating a multi-faceted successful agribusiness of the future, and one that will hopefully inspire other aspirant women agripreneurs to follow in her footsteps.
Fear is the only thing holding you back....
"Don't be afraid. Fear is the only thing holding you back. Women are wired to be cautious and thank goodness, but it often holds us back. If you really think you have a good idea or product then go for it, don't let anyone try to distract you from your path. Its easy to say but from my experience in business, very few get it right the first or the second time and failure is part of the process of finding success."
- Gaby Lobban is the founder of Zumbudda in South Africa, a technology company which has launched a website offering REAL-Time eChats with healthcare professionals (Experts) to people looking for advice. Gaby's background is in design and advertising and she has worked in the pharmaceutical, medical and diagnostics industry for 20 years.