Family Business

The Greatest Challenges as a Female Entrepreneur


3 min




Listen to Zahra F. Rasul discuss some of the challenges she’s faced, and what she is doing to overcome them.


Zahra F. Rasul



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I think one of the greatest challenges I faced as a female entrepreneur is knowing where to go for the resources, the skill set. Because a lot of what I’m doing in my business, the area we work in is largely uncharted territory, it’s very new, the concept of education is not new, but the ways in which we deliver the content, the ways in which we structure our services to work, not only with clients, but with entire families, it’s a cradle to grave operation, that’s complex and has many different levels at different life stages and so to find mentors who have not necessarily the same experience or expertise but who understand the issues and who you trust to guide you, I think has been a real challenge. I think another thing I would say is that I think as a woman in general, there’s never a good ... View More time to have a career and a family, and I think this is true for anybody, but as an entrepreneur I have found that there’s no maternity leave, there’s no opportunity to leave your work in the office, being an entrepreneur is a 24-7 job, and being a mom is a 24-7 job, and I don’t see my family life and my career as separate from one another, I see them as completely inter-meshed, I think that my children, who came very close together and not all expected, are a blessing and really push me as an entrepreneur to make choices, to take risks that I maybe would not have if I had not thought, ok now I have an extra mouth to feed, what will be my legacy to this next child that I’m having. And finally, I think a lot of it has to do with finding a partner in life, particularly if it’s a man, who is comfortable as Nanon would say, letting his partner wear the big-boy pants in the relationship. It’s a challenge, and it really is a process, I think, because intellectually, your partner can understand that your starting this, that you’re doing something that will benefit the family, that will benefit your personal enrichment, that your career enrichment, but to have the confidence and the power within himself to assume some of that care work at home, and to do things that are not traditionally male roles, which was very important to me in our relationship, for one of us, at least when our children are so young, to be the people who are there. You know I think that’s probably a big challenge that I haven’t necessarily figured out, but I’m working out with my partner.