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Muslim Womenpreneurs Pt. I: The Take-Off Factors

Muslim Womenpreneurs Pt. I: The Take-Off Factors

The Rise of Muslim Women-preneurs

Women entrepreneurs are constantly superseded the growth of the overall economy — both in job creations and in general revenue. A recent study found that among all the SMEs categorized within a diverse range of industries in Malaysia (manufacturing, services, agriculture mining, quarrying and others), 16% of them are owned by women entrepreneurs especially Muslims.

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It is indeed a positive sign that Muslim women in Malaysia decided to take entrepreneurship seriously. Having to cope with some issues in the workplace is however, not easy. Muslim women tend to have a hard time balancing their pile of responsibilities including the husband, the kids, the household and the office work. Moreover, working in the corporate world gives them more pressure, but for some Muslims that work in a non-muslim environment, they have to cope with another challenge — confronting a way too different culture that forced them to obey the Islamic rules.

However our rules were not well understood back then. Some people thought Muslim women are not meant for business, not allowed to overpower men in terms of work and earnings, having to put up with severe restrictions, having a full-time responsibility of the households and the children, and other complicated, ironical reasons — but thanks to the growing cross-cultural interactions and more dynamic informations, our fair Islamic rules have been properly understood. More Muslims now have seen the real concept that Islam is actually allowing more flexibilities to fit in today’s environment (If you’re wondering how flexible it is — I will explain further on the second part of this article).

Yes, women shouldn’t be constrained and allowed to do what they love. Women should be free to create their own life balance: to make money, to pursue their passion, and to take care of the family. Cheers to all Muslim Malaysian women out there that are brave enough taking one step ahead of the game, fighting their right to have their own meaningful career, loving and caring their family all simultaneously.

The Take-Off Factors

A few Muslim women entrepreneurs have shared with us their motivational factors that have dragged them into business and build their own dreams. Some of you who have been in business can share with us too in the comments down below, and some of you that not, be inspired, ladies… you might be the next successful woman!

1. The Unfriendly Non-Muslim Environment

Many, many Muslim women nowadays have to deal with the challenge of working in a non-Muslim environment: a male employee offers hand during introductions, other employees begin to discuss private aspects of their lives at lunch that does not meet ours, an invitation for employees get-together time at the local bar, or an impolite joke about Hijaab or Salaah. These are only a few of the many possible situations that a woman may face as she struggles to maintain not only her job, but, more importantly, her Muslim identity. I’m not saying that it’s not possible to cope with this issue but however, having our own business allows us to set our desired environment.

 

 

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2. The Lack of Self-Accomplishment

Women are great at working hard but at the same time, we like to keep our heads down — working in a company slows us down to fulfil our need of self-accomplishment and the only way to get is to get promoted, but… in a corporate world, hard-working women tend to have less support compared to men when it comes to promotion. The “Glass Ceiling” plays its role — the concept where women can’t penetrate higher level due to prejudice against women. When a woman does her own business, she’s in control. She doesn’t need to get promoted, she has the right in attempting to make her business successful, and that’s how she can reach her desired level of self-accomplishment.

3. Strict Working Hours

Working hours are frustrating for some – spending 8 hours a day in the office (plus overtime), and once you get home, you still have to deal with your wonderfully messy house and amazingly noisy kids begging your attention. You need more space and flexibility.

4. Low Income & Dissatisfaction

After all the hard work, you don’t get the credit. After all the sacrifice, your salary is only enough for you to get a tri-cycle for the kids. Your own business gives you possibility to earn more, both income and satisfaction, even though you take a risk and stand on your own, but hey… successful women loves being independent anyway, right?

5. The Need to Be In Control of Their Own Desires and Destiny

Women love having passion and authenticity in every thing we do. Finding our self and reassessing our skills and passions are the raison d’être for our species. Unfortunately, being an employee doesn’t allow us much freedom to do so, and we try to find an alternative route: establishing our own business or embarking in a freelance work for the sake of freedom and to be in control of our own fate. More and more of our species are now refusing to compromise and choosing to build our own destiny instead — we roar louder.

6. Flexibility in Juggling Between Work and Family

It’s never easy being a wife and a mom trying to juggle a full-time job with real life. Muslim women’s most important role is the motherhood — the responsibility of taking care of the household, as quoted from the Holy Quran below:

“And abide in your houses and do not display yourself as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance” (Qur’an 33:33)

Being a full-time working mother can lead to guilty feelings and anxiety because of divided attention between work and family. However, some Muslim women who found strength within them thinks that home-based business or freelance work is the right solution. They own the flexibility of setting up their priorities and schedules.

 

Ladies, here’s to pull out the strength within you:

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What do you think? Share us your thoughts! Next week, we’re gonna take you to another article on Muslim Womenpreneurs, focusing on the benefits of being one. Stay awesome!

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