The global business realm is witnessing a remarkable surge of women converting their enthusiasm and innovative ideas into thriving enterprises.
This transformative movement surpasses mere financial benefits, embodying empowerment and reforming conventional business gender norms.
The Women’s Entrepreneurship Report unveils an impressive count of 252 million active women entrepreneurs globally, with an additional 153 million at the helm of established enterprises. These figures celebrate the expansive influence of women in the business sector.
A notable milestone is that, for the first time in twenty years, women’s entrepreneurship growth rates globally have surpassed those of men, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2019/2020 Women’s Report.
This report also points out a contrasting motivation across economies: in lower-income regions, necessity propels women into entrepreneurship, whereas in higher-income areas, opportunity seems to be the primary driving force.
The economic contributions of businesses led by women are on an upward trajectory. The Boston Consulting Group’s research suggests that global GDP could climb by 3% to 6%, potentially adding $2.5 to $5 trillion to the world economy, should women engage in entrepreneurship at the same rates as men.
However, women currently own 34% of all businesses but contribute only 12% of total sales and employ a mere 22% of the workforce, indicating a disparity in the scaling of these enterprises.
Yet, the horizon is changing. The tech start-up arena, traditionally dominated by men, is now witnessing a rise in female participation. As per Crunchbase figures from 2021, 20% of global start-ups receiving seed funding boasted at least one female founder.
Platforms like social media and e-commerce have paved the way for women to embark on entrepreneurial endeavours with minimal start-up costs and risk.
Take, for instance, Etsy, where women constitute 81% of sellers, showcasing their prowess in utilizing such platforms to bypass traditional market entry challenges.
The role of education in this trend cannot be overstated. The GEM report indicates that women with higher academic qualifications are nearly twice as confident about starting a business as those with only a high school education or less.
However, despite these promising developments, women entrepreneurs still face substantial challenges, particularly in funding. The Kauffman Foundation discovered that female entrepreneurs typically launch businesses with half the capital compared to male entrepreneurs. Moreover, a paltry 2% of all venture capital investment goes to women-led startups.
To overcome these obstacles, a supportive infrastructure for women in business is critical, one that provides mentorship, networking, and financial resources tailored for women’s business initiatives.
Entities such as the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) in the U.S. and Women Who Code internationally have been instrumental in forming supportive communities for women entrepreneurs.
In summation, the entrepreneurial landscape is being reshaped by women who transform their passion into successful business ventures.
This shift not only forges paths for new businesses but also reimagines the ethos of entrepreneurship, motivating more women to aspire and achieve. Advancing women’s business initiatives is not merely an investment in female entrepreneurs but an investment in a more prosperous and equitable economic future for everyone.