The theory of entrepreneurial self-efficacy made its debut way back in 1994 in “Entrepreneurial Potential and Potential Entrepreneurs” by Krueger and Brazeal. The paper proposes that the potential for entrepreneurship can be measured by an individual’s entrepreneurial self-efficacy (ESE), which is a person’s belief and confidence in their own entrepreneurial capabilities and skills.

A further exploration on gender and entrepreneurial self-efficacy was conducted in 2014 which found women entrepreneurs to have lower ESE, leading to fewer women pursuing entrepreneurship or expanding their businesses than men.

ESE has nothing to do with your actual skills as an entrepreneur, but what you perceive to be your skill level. Even with higher learning and experience, if women entrepreneurs continue to have low confidence in their abilities, it will hold them back from going after greater goals or even entering entrepreneurship at all.

How can you improve your Entrepreneurial Self-Efficacy and build up your confidence in your abilities? You can start with these four tips:

1. Reframe How You View Failures

When we succeed at a task or project, it gives us a confidence boost and we feel better about ourselves. But like any other human, we have shortcomings. When we fail at something it affects our self-esteem and can make us question our skills and abilities. We have to reframe our minds so we can accept our shortcomings positively. Think of failures as a chance to learn new lessons so you can be more prepared for the next challenge. You may have made a wrong decision or action at that time, but that project doesn’t define who you are and the extent of your capabilities.

2. Surround Yourself With Entrepreneurs You Want to Emulate

When you see other women entrepreneurs who have succeeded in launching their companies and scaling their business, it gives you the confidence that you can do it too. Knowing that something can be done, because others like you have already done it, increases your self-efficacy. There’s also the added value of being able to learn from them on how you can repeat their success on your own business.

3. Take Care of Your Physical and Mental Health

Our confidence, in general, is affected by how we feel mentally and physically. Entrepreneurial Self-efficacy is also dependent on how we feel about ourselves as a whole. You may doubt your capabilities because you doubt your value as a person. Always take time for self-care, as this is a way of reminding yourself of your worth. It’s not just about spa days, exercising or eating right. You have to also pay attention to your mental health. Find a tribe who can listen to what’s going on in your head and your heart, and if needed, seek professional help.

4. Challenge Yourself

You may be unknowingly setting your goals low because you believe that is all you are capable of. You end up stuck in your comfort zone that doesn’t allow room for growth. Try instead to step out of your comfort zone and go for goals that you believe are above your current skill level. Take a look at those goals and then list down what skills you think you lack that is needed to achieve them. You may be surprised to find out that your skills aren’t as lacking as you think. And if there’s anything new you need to learn, go out and learn them, this will only add to your confidence in your abilities.

How Rise and Lead’s Women and Business Success Series Helps Build ESE

The Rise and Lead’s Women and Business Success Series focuses not just on the technical aspects of entrepreneurship, but on your mindset as well. Scaling your business needs your complete conviction in your vision and your abilities as an entrepreneur.

During the Women and Business Success Series, you will also be able to connect and learn from the experience and knowledge of successful women entrepreneurs. It will also allow you to be surrounded by other women who are in the same boat as you and want to gain the clarity and confidence to get their business to the next level.

Are you ready to scale your business and take it to the next level? Find out more about the Women and Business Success Series here.

Ebere Akadiri

Ebere Akadiri

Ebere Akadiri is A Nigerian Food Entrepreneur who lives in The Hague. Her passion to inspire others to achieve their goals drove her to found Rise and Lead Women along with her co-founder, Poonam Barua. Their mission is to inspire women to take the lead in closing the gender gap in workplaces and in business.

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