We celebrated Women's Entrepreneurship Day on Monday, coincidentally the same day I registered my company 17 years ago. Since then, the concept of entrepreneurship has changed, the panorama is very different, it is much richer and diverse. The type of companies being set up today are nothing like 17 years ago. In fact, simply having a website was seen as very modern at the start of the millenium.
With the two events coinciding, and given our task of learning more about women, at Ellas Deciden we have carried out a study to provide an overview of what lies behind a female entrepreneur and what motivates them. Seven aspects came out of our study that we have called: The seven whys of female entrepreneurs, which are:
1. They seek freedom
Some 50% of those surveyed decided to become entrepreneurs to be free and independent. Half of them said that this was the most important aspect. After that comes the project and its impact. But it is interesting to see how women above all associate entrepreneurship with freedom and independence.
2. They do not feel like victims
100% of responses say that starting a business as a woman has as many advantages as drawbacks. It is something we like to highlight because we are they are fed up with being treated as victims. Obviously, when they go into listing the advantages and disadvantages they come up with a lot. But the direct response to whether they enjoy privileges or marginalisation is negative.
3. They are the heroines
Behind the success of a female entrepreneur is the woman herself. We confirmed and communicated this fact three years ago when we helped Aigua Font Vella (Danone group) with the marvellous #EresImpulso project to help women entrepreneurs. They asked us to look into what lies behind a female entrepreneur and following a qualitative study in Barcelona and Madrid, we showed that their success is not down to a partner, parents, family, banks, or luck. What there is is the titanic effort they put in, perseverance and unwavering belief in themselves and the project. Today we see that almost 60% of responses tell us the same thing; they have earned it. The do NOT believe in the Superwoman myth; it does not exist and they do not like to be labelled that way.
4. Female entrepreneurs are made
Yes, dear readers, in case there was any doubt, some 60% say they turned themselves into entrepreneurs, and that it was not genetic, inherited or due to their surroundings. They learnt to be entrepreneurs, to set up a business, to build a dream, and to take charge of their lives.
5. They want to provide a new vision
The motives that led them to start a business in most cases was to provide a new way of looking at an existing product or service. And, above all, to be able to manage their own schedule, which can only be done outside a large structure.
6. Creating is entrepreneurship
The three values they most associate with starting a business are: Create, Grow and Change. Thus the creative aspect is intrinsic to the personality and work of the female entrepreneur; they cannot be separated.
7. Better alone
Only 20% of those surveyed say they have partners in their businesses. Almost 70% do not feel that being women made it particularly difficult to finding funding, and almost 90% have been entrepreneurs for less than five years. This shows that women prefer to start a business by themselves, at least in the initial phase of the business.
Balancing family life, maternity, sexism, stereotypes, mansplaining, the glass ceiling, abuse, harassment and gender violence continue to exist and so we cannot lower our guard. That is why we have sisterhood, feminism, dedicated public spaces, good education and a high cultural level in society to help combat them. And above all intelligent men who are by our side, such as the fathers, partners, brothers, uncles and the friends of these female entrepreneurs.
The picture of the female entrepreneur that emerges is a woman who is free and independent, who starts a business without partners but with a good team
That is not to say everything is ideal, but we are on the right track.The picture of the female entrepreneur that emerges is a woman who is free and independent, who starts a business without partners but with a good team. It is someone who does not feel spoilt by her surroundings, nor marginalised. She wants to change reality and
improve an existing service. She likes to create and build and be devoted to doing so. The female entrepreneur made herself. She is behind her own success.
You can find the complete study at EllasDeciden.com.