Mostly, when we talk about the Muslim woman, the image that comes to our mind immediately is a housewife and baby maker, with a baby on hip, a phone to her ear with pancakes tossing in the air. Or a girl in the corner of a library with her nose buried deep in a book.
What never comes to our mind is an entrepreneur and CEO of a successful business. For many, it is almost impossible for a Muslim woman to be seen as the decision maker in any business, let alone her own company. Lack of female entrepreneurs is not specific to the Muslim community alone, but it is higher there as Muslim women are usually the homemakers of the household, while men are the bread winners.
However, with the influence of the internet, women are finding very creative ways to run successful businesses whilst at the same time raising their families as well. The truth of the matter is that there is need for more Muslim women entrepreneurs.
The Reasons For More Muslim Women Entrepreneurs
#1. Social Enterprise
The Muslim world, often riddled with problems could benefit greatly from Female led businesses as women would more likely value social development as they are often more social. Women would have better consideration for the social, environmental and ethical implications of the businesses they run compared to men.
The fact that there are more male led businesses than female ones can create working environments that do not reflect the needs of women. So female led businesses are more likely to understand the need for flexible working hours as well as being able to accommodate women who have families and wish to work from home. Having more Muslim women entrepreneurs could result in more female friendly businesses which will further encourage other Muslim women to take part in the world of work without having to compromise the needs of their families.
#3. Fighting stereotypes
Muslim women are often wrongly portrayed as being oppressed. Therefore, having more Muslim women entrepreneurs will challenge this perception and counteract stereotypes which undermine a Muslim woman’s ability to making good and well thought out decisions.
#4. Tackling Female Unemployment
We are not going to sit and pretend we don’t see how high the unemployment rate for Muslim women between the ages of 18-26 is, are we? One of the only ways to tackle this problem is by entrepreneurship as this could help remove many of the barriers that may prevent Muslim women from entering the world of work.
#5. Lack of female role models
Despite the fact that there are increasing number of studies which suggest that the current generation of young people are the most entrepreneurial group yet, young Muslims find it hard to find role models that they can seek guidance or mentoring from. Obviously, increased entrepreneurship in Muslim women will increase inspirational role models that young girls can copy from. This makes entrepreneurship as a viable and rewarding path to pursue.
These are just a few among a million more reasons why the world needs more female Muslim entrepreneurs. Muslim women have so much potentials that the world must try to benefit from by empowering this group and providing them with the right tools to thrive and succeed.