‘Finances, fear of failure cause stress among entrepreneurs’

The top three factors that cause stress among entrepreneurs in India are monitoring and managing finances, workforce management, and persistent fear of failure, a study has found.

“Mental health and well-being is a critical challenge that has come under the spotlight with a number of organisations realising its value. The question of prime importance today is about the pressure building on the leaders of organisations,” said Harsh Mariwala, founder, Ascent Foundation and Mariwala Health Initiative (MHI), at the Annual Ascent Conclave 2019.

The study was jointly conducted by Ascent, a not-for-profit organisation, and MHI after it emerged that there was a severe deficiency in data measuring the unique factors that affect entrepreneurs, thus perpetuating a systemic negligence of their mental health.

As per the World Health Organization, one in four people in the world experience mental health issues.

Titled ‘Entrepreneurial Well-Being: Wearing Many Hats,’ the study was co-designed by entrepreneurs and mental health practitioners. It found that a large number of male entrepreneurs tend to experience stress around cash flow and employee performance, while female entrepreneurs were most affected by the pressure to perform.

Further, it revealed that almost half of the respondents said they felt anxious often or very often, while at least half of them experienced anxiety, frustration and irritability sometimes.

The study also found that stress factors have a direct impact on the physical health of younger entrepreneurs — between the ages of 20 and 40 — while also making them more reclusive.

“There has to be a systemic change within the sector that furthers the conversation surrounding mental health. An important way is ensuring that they know they are not alone, and introducing the idea that failure is the key to innovation at the business school level,” said Rajvi Mariwala, director, MHI.

Another major finding of the study was that entrepreneurs were more likely to use personal coping strategies like sports or join entrepreneurial peer groups to manage their stress rather than access professional help. According to the study, only 7% of the respondents had sought professional help for mental health issues.

Based on the study findings, MHI and Ascent are looking to modify their concept of peer support or trust groups, which, till date, comprised of 10-12 entrepreneurs in the same scale and stage of business, though with diverse backgrounds.

“We are now looking at getting alumni trust group members to lead the new trust groups rather than psychotherapists. The trust that exists within Ascent will help not only this become successful but other initiatives planned in the coming months,” Ms. Rajvi said.

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Printable version | May 10, 2021 10:15:50 AM |

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