“Don’t give a woman a fish and feed her for a day; rather teach a woman to run a fishing business and feed a village for a lifetime.”

This is how Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship views the power of women’s economic empowerment to transform the world. We believe in a world that provides equal social and economic opportunities for women and sets the stage for gender equity in the future.

Our GSBI accelerator programs so far have served more than 1000 social enterprises that have positively impacted more than 390M lives. All social entrepreneurs, in one way or another, have compelling, challenging and exciting stories about their entrepreneurship journey. For some, they found difficulty in the beginning and shaping their business idea or finding the right start-up capital investment.  For others, it was the lack of moral support from their family and friends, or enduring gender-bias when they least expected it.

I reached out to some of GSBI’s inspirational, powerhouse female entrepreneurs to learn more about the biggest challenges they’ve had to face. Here is what they had to say.

Maria from TPMocs on Funding and Gender Bias

Leanne from Mintor on What Matters and Having a Support Group

Manka from Grassland Cameroon on Getting a Seat at the Table

Shivani from Tala on an Overlooked Consumer Base

Yvonne from Miyonga Fresh Greens on Funding Options

In spite of the challenges presented above, these women are still positively impacting thousands of lives. This isn’t to say that more obstacles will not arise as they continue to develop their enterprises. The new challenges will replace the old ones for them, but what will matter in the end, is their determination to be leaders in their respective sectors.