Economy Ministry willing to support women's entrepreneurship
Belarus’ Economy Ministry and independent institutes have conducted a research to identify the main barriers that hinder women's involvement in entrepreneurship. Among them are social, economic and cultural factors – as reported by the Deputy Director of the Entrepreneurship Department at the Economy Ministry, Irina Babachenok
“There is no institute of women's entrepreneurship in our country. Therefore, ladies – who wish to start their own business – act on a common basis,” Ms. Babachenok explained. “We’ve identified several groups of factors that can be viewed as conditional obstacles to women’s joining business activity. These include social pressure and family obligations, as well as a lack of managerial experience, strategic orientation, dependence on the opinion of society and general challenges of the business environment which are natural of all categories of business entities. Women are more motivated to start their own business in areas that are not burdened with difficulties, certain administrative and production processes and that make it possible to combine several roles.”
Due to ladies’ desire to avoid risks and analyse the consequences of decisions made, this category of entrepreneurs often refuses to borrow money. “Women account for only 10 percent of loans. The banking system is more biased towards businesswomen. Another challenge is general macroeconomic issues,” the expert noted, adding, “When we talk about stimulating business initiatives, we expect to create general and comfortable conditions for business development – without reference to gender issues. We are focused on making the business climate in our country attractive.”
In addition, studies have shown that psychological support, business training and consulting come to the fore in development of women's entrepreneurship. “The Economy Ministry strives to consolidate the efforts of all institutions that are ready to support women in business as much as possible. We plan to implement a project jointly with the UN to promote entrepreneurship among ladies in small and medium-sized cities,” Ms. Babachenok added.