Are Women Entrepreneurs Succeeding in Business?

The title is the topic to discuss in this Category of the site. Are there actually differences between business created and / or managed by women and “men dominated” business?

Do we just need to think about “business” in general, like numbers?

5 + 7 = 12 without any gender distinction. Are businesses the same?

Here I start to research this topic -comments and discussions are absolutely welcome- without a specific agenda but with the commitment to post all my findings.

Let’s start with this blog that I found and inspired the title of this post: “Are Women Entrepreneurs More Likely to Succeed?”

Some figures and comments (that I haven’t checked):

“Women-owned businesses are growing at a phenomenal rate in the U.S.”

  • “40% of all privately held U.S. firms are owned or controlled by women”
  • “Women’s companies are creating jobs at twice the rate of all firms”
  • “Women’s companies are responsible for more payroll than all the Fortune 500 companies combined”
  • “Women’s companies are growing profits faster than all firms”
  • “Women’s companies only get 5% of all venture capital”
  • “Women take on more personal debt to fund their businesses than men do”

It would be good to know the sources of these figures, but from my experience in the Venture Capital industry, the 5% figure is totally realistic.

I managed a boutique VC firm in New Zealand focused in early stage ventures. Only two women presented proposals to the firm in more than three years. Other 6 -8 women were supporting their partners in a sort of joint venture (remember a proposal in Invercargill about an original pram: she was the designer, he was the mechanic) but they were a team, not a “women’s business”.

So I want to highlight this paragraph from the blog:

“A new book by Margaret Heffernan,”How She Does It”, explores what makes women-owned or controlled firms successful...”

According to Heffernan, “As long as women continue to slug it out in traditional companies that were build by men for men, much of their energy will go into fitting into those cultures. It is a big drain on resources. But once a woman runs her own company that drain evaporates. These phenomenal numbers how just how effective women can be when they work on their own terms. They also demonstrate just how much talent those traditional corporations lose when their women give up on them.”

This is a good avenue to follow…

Nicolás Erdödy

2 thoughts on “Are Women Entrepreneurs Succeeding in Business?

  1. I think leading women entrepreneurs only receive 1.9% of venture capital funds. A great place to look at is the Diana Project. We are looking at bringing the next Diana conference to Perth in 2012.

    http://www.dianaproject.org/history/

    Statistics should consider the leading entrepreneur not just team members, after all we cannot do a business alone and chances are we’ll have a diversified team.

  2. Alicia, why do you think that the Diana Project was founded by five women and no man? Statistics are always biased but is better to start to measure something even if it is not using the best metrics.

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