Embrace being a ‘minority’
Women have been minority in a lot of things in the past, and have outgrown the ‘minority’ status overtime. It will be same with the tech industry. While this might not be immediate and women might remain a minority in tech entrepreneurship circles for at least for the next decade, there is a need to look beyond it. Do not be discouraged by the jarring difference in number between the female and male workforce in the tech industry. Over-analyzing the minority status only acts as a distraction from the real task at hand: building a cutting-edge product or service. Being a woman is not a disadvantage – the sooner you embrace that, the sooner investors will see that as well.
Build your network
The best thing you can do as a female entrepreneur at any stage of your start-up is to make as much relevant contact as you can.
Lack of socializing does not just fly in the start-up world. Nigerian women tend to shy away from stepping out to others, whether to clarify an idea, get feedback, improve the business model, scope out potential hires, or get new customers. Understand that networking has virtually no downside. Don’t be afraid to initiate communication. It is not a dating game, it is business. Build relationships and nurture them. If you have a bit of difficulty socializing, utilize mentors and support networks. Mentors and support networks offer best help with many obstacles, as they can help provide outside ideas, advice and guidance on overcoming challenges, as well as help build confidence as you move forward. Ensure you build the right connections and make an effort to nurture them as best you can.
Stay on the hustle
You need to stay optimistic and confident. Find smarter, novel, unconventional ways to solve problems. Learn from mistakes and move on. Also, be strategic about how you spend your time. Try to engage in activities that truly add value to the business. Don’t be afraid of hard work, especially when you are first starting out. If you are a team, the more valuable you are, the more responsibility you will be asked to take on. Keep at it and give your best at all times.
Tech entrepreneurship is anything but easy and being a woman makes it even more challenging, especially here in Nigeria. One of the most important things to remember as a woman entrepreneur in tech is that opportunity as in the sky, is the limit for the talented woman who has a great idea and a solid business plan to back it.