Gender is defined as the social
Gender is defined as the social, behavioral, and cultural characteristics, prospects, and standards associated with being a woman or a man, while gender equality is about how these items define the relationship between men and women and the degree of power for each. In MENA region countries, women suffer from gender inequality issues including low access to education, health issues, reduced economic opportunities, and, limited participation in social and political life. One of the important economic inequalities that women face in the MENA region is the limited opportunities for being entrepreneurs. The business environment, enabling laws and legislation, and the inadequacy of required training are among the main obstacles facing women in the entrepreneurship sector (MENA Development Report, 2012).
Starting a business and being an entrepreneur is a challenging process especially for women entrepreneurs who starting their business from scratch in a nation that is more dominant by men labor/entrepreneurs. Also, the number of women who start their businesses is increasing every day but there are some challenges that slow-down their business growth rate. A research was conducted through an online questionnaire that was filled by 468 entrepreneur women in 18 states in America. The findings show that almost all the women who participated in the study, faced a main problem during the start-up and current operations. This dilemma is the lack of business and financial trainings. Also, they faced many challenges because of their limited experience in managing their business. For example, one of the management obstacles is the “lack of experience in hiring others” (Hisrich, P: 34)
There are many obstacles that women entrepreneurs face during setting up their business which might be slightly different than the issues faced by men entrepreneurs. A qualitative research that was conducted in Pakistan to examine the barriers and challenges that women entrepreneurs suffer from during the start-up and growth phases of their business enterprise, shows that the main challenges are access to capital, lack of business managerial skills and the restrict government regulations. Some of the reasons behind the lack of business management skills are cultural and traditional issues as the restriction of interaction between women and men. Also, the limited number of institutions that offer specific programs for women (Roomi and Parrotte, P: 66, 67).
Empowering women in business is not only an issue of gender equality, but also an economic necessity. It has been found in many international experiences that empowering women in business has a positive impact on economic growth. In this regard many countries have developed a variety of services to help women in women-led businesses to be more effective and to be able to manage their businesses efficiently. Among these services are financial services, access to finance and nonfinancial services like training, mentoring, consultation and business coaching.
Coaching is a process that moves a person from where he is to where he wants to be. Similarly business coaching is a process that takes a business from where it is to where the owner wants it to be. Business coaching starts by helping the owner reach his vision by setting his personal goals first and then determining their business goals. The link between the vision and personal goals in any business is the missing part that most people miss. If the business goals and vision is not leading to the personal goals of the owner then there is something wrong and there will not be any eagerness to reach them. The second step would be helping the business owner set the strategies to reach those goals. Then business coaching will help in prioritizing the strategies in order to reach the goals in minimal time. A business coach is not here to do the work, unlike a business consultant. Rather he is there to make the owner establish his own
The roles of a business coaches include advising individual leaders on business matters, foster individual performance in a business context, help executives reach their own path and focus on individual behavioral change. Business coaching is basically a combination of both management consulting and assisting clients or business owners to define and achieve their goals. They are usually one to one or with small groups to elaborate on goals and work with them on the planning of the process of achieving their goals. Finally it is based on asking questions to help businesses find their solutions rather than give expert advice.
Business coaching differs from usual trainings in that it is not a content based training it is a process. A business coach should have a well understanding of how the mind works. Unlike traditional training, business coaching is not only related to work issues. It works also on the mind set and happiness of business owners or staff in order to push the business to a higher and more successful level. As Leimon, McMahon and Moscovici said, “Happy people are more productive and innovative” (Essential Business Coaching, 9). Finally, business coaching has a long term successful impact on shorter careers.