Four Womenabling Numbers You Should Know

At the recent Enterprising Women of the Year annual gathering, I spoke to other members of the Editorial Advisory Board to update them on trends in women’s entrepreneurship around the world. This year, I shared four key numbers that every womenabler should know. Here they are for all of you to know and share as well: infogram4numbers

69

For every 100 male business owners there are around the world, there are only 69 female business owners. (SOURCE: Babson College, 2014 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Women’s Report, 2015)

392 million

The number of women business owners worldwide. (SOURCE: Womenable calculation based on data from the International Labour Organisation’s 2015 Key Indicators of the Labour Market report)

$285 billion

The estimated gender credit gap in developing economies around the world. (SOURCE: Goldman Sachs Global Markets Institute, Giving credit where it is due, 2014)

$12 (or $28) trillion

The amount that would be added to global GDP if there were economic gender parity among all countries in each region of the world (the ‘best in region’ scenario, totaling $12T) or among all countries worldwide (the ‘full potential’ scenario, totaling $28T). (SOURCE: McKinsey Global Institute, The Power of Parity, 2015)

So, fellow womenablers, keep these four (or five) numbers at the ready. They not only indicate the amount of work we still have to do, but the benefits that will be realized once we approach economic parity. Onward and upward!

Top Ten Womenabling Research Facts of 2014

Top TenWe’ve kept tabs on the facts and figures that have been published during the course of the year (as we do every year). Here are what we consider to be the top ten new research-based facts about women business owners and their enterprises of 2014. They fall into four general categories: money, mentoring, metrics and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Here they are, along with links to the original source material for your reference. Many happy returns of the season from Womenable!

Money

  1. International CurrencyClosing the credit cap for women-owned SMEs across the developing world as a whole could boost the growth in per capita income by over 110 basis points (1.1%) on average. ~ Goldman Sachs Global Market Institute. February 2014. Giving credit where it is due.

  2. In an analysis of over 25,000 projects on Kickstarter, launched by 22,000 entrepreneurs between 2009 and 2012 and supported by over 1.1 million investors, researchers found that this crowdfunding platform is more hospitable than many other forms of business financing for women. For example: 1) a significant share of Kickstarter investors (40%) are women; 2) these women are more likely than men (40% versus 23%) to invest in women-led projects; and 3) women-led projects are more successful than those launched by men. The fundraising success rate for women was 69.5%, compared to 61.4% for men. ~ Dan Maroum, Alicia Robb, Orly Sade. May 2014. Gender Dynamics in Crowdfunding (Kickstarter): Evidence on Entrepreneurs, Investors, Deals and Taste Based Discrimination.


  3. The amount of early-stage investment in companies with a woman on the executive team has tripled to 15 percent from 5 percent in the last 15 years. Despite this positive trend, 85 percent of all venture capital–funded businesses have no women on the executive team. This is the case despite the finding that businesses with a woman on the executive team are more likely to have higher valuations at both first and last funding (64 percent higher and 49 percent higher, respectively). ~ Candida G. Brush, Patricia G. Greene, Lakshmi Balachandra, Amy E. Davis. September 2014. Women Entrepreneurs 2014: Bridging the Gender Gap in Venture Capital.


  4. In 2013 women angels represented 19.4% of the angel market, similar to 2012 (21.8%). Women-owned ventures accounted for 23% of the entrepreneurs that were seeking angel capital and 19% of these women entrepreneurs received angel investment in 2013. ~ Jeffrey Sohl, Center for Venture Research. April 2014. The Angel Investor Market in 2013: A Return to Seed Investing.

Mentors

  1. Closeup of business people with hands on handsAn analysis of high-growth women entrepreneurs (those with sales or employment growth of 20%+ over the past three years) in Latin America and the Caribbean finds that growing up in an entrepreneurial family helps define their entrepreneurial spirit. Both high-growth men and women are more likely than average to seek mentors to guide their growth. However, while high-growth men entrepreneurs seek mentors from outside their family, women tend to receive guidance from within their own families. ~ EY, Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank. March 2014. WEGrow: Unlocking the Growth Potential of Women Entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean.

  2. A comparison of a survey of women in technology firms launched between 2002 and 2012 with a more general sampling of technology firms founded in 2004 (the Kauffman Firm Survey) finds that female and male entrepreneurs have a lot in common. They would seem to start their companies for similar reasons, cite similar self-perceived reasons for success, and face similar challenges. However, several differences stand out: 1) the women technology entrepreneurs surveyed don’t appear to have had inspiring role models as their principal motivation; 2) women entrepreneurs in general appear to respond differently than men do to failure, and cite lessons learned from failure as a big reason for success; and 3) there is a financing gap when it comes to high-tech and high-potential women entrepreneurs. That financing gap turns into a growth gap in terms of company outcomes. Finding ways to fill that financing gap could have a huge payoff in job creation and innovation. ~ Alicia Robb, Susan Coleman, Dane Stangler. November 2014. Sources of Economic Hope: Women’s Entrepreneurship.

Metrics

  1. measuring_tape copyIn an analysis of the conditions in which growth-oriented women’s entrepreneurship can prosper, the United States (with a score of 83), Australia (80) and Sweden (73) are the top ranking countries among 30 analyzed. They are followed by France and Germany (tied at 67), Chile (55), the United Kingdom (54) and Poland (51) which all received an overall score of 50 or more. ~ Ruta Aidis, The GEDI Institute. June 2014. The Gender Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index.

  2. As of 2012, just under one-third (29%) of the 40.6 million business owners in Europe are women, up from 26% in 2003. Over that nine-year period, the share of business owners who are female has risen most strongly in Lichtenstein (with a 16% increase in the share of entrepreneurs who are female), Iceland (+8%), and Cyprus (+8%), compared with the overall 3% increase. ~ European Commission. September 2014. Statistical Data on Women Entrepreneurs in Europe.


  3. On average over the past 17 years, there has been a net increase of 591 women-owned businesses in the United States each and every day. The number of net new women-owned firms has fallen in the wake of the recession – there was a net increase of 714 women-owned firms per day from 2002 to 2007, and a lesser 506 per day between 2007 and 2014 – but start-up activity is increasing. Just in the past year, there have been an estimated 1,288 net new women-owned firms launched each and every day. ~ American Express OPEN & Womenable. March 2014. The 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report.

STEM

  1. womanlab copyWomen have increased their representation in STEM graduate enrollment, but that increase has been uneven across STEM fields. Women have achieved parity for PhDs in biological and medical sciences, but their enrollment continues to lag in some of the most entrepreneurial fields, such as bioengineering, mechanical, and civil engineering and materials science. Further, across all STEM fields, female PhDs have lower rates of entrepreneurship than their male colleagues (5% compared to 7%), and file fewer patents (15% vs. 28%). ~ Margaret E. Blume-Kohout for SBA Office of Advocacy. October 2014. Understanding the Gender Gap in STEM Fields Entrepreneurship.

  2. (A 2-for-1 listing: this report also appeared in our ‘mentors’ category) A comparison of a survey of women in technology firms launched between 2002 and 2012 with a more general sampling of technology firms founded in 2004 (the Kauffman Firm Survey) finds that female and male entrepreneurs have a lot in common. They would seem to start their companies for similar reasons, cite similar self-perceived reasons for success, and face similar challenges. However, several differences stand out: 1) the women technology entrepreneurs surveyed don’t appear to have had inspiring role models as their principal motivation; 2) women entrepreneurs in general appear to respond differently than men do to failure, and cite lessons learned from failure as a big reason for success; and 3) there is a financing gap when it comes to high-tech and high-potential women entrepreneurs. That financing gap turns into a growth gap in terms of company outcomes. Finding ways to fill that financing gap could have a huge payoff in job creation and innovation. ~ Alicia Robb, Susan Coleman, Dane Stangler. November 2014. Sources of Economic Hope: Women’s Entrepreneurship.

A Womenabling Research Round-up

A number of reports of interest to womenablers have been published recently. Just in case you missed ’em, here is a round-up of what’s caught our attention recently. In alphabetical order by report title, they are:iStock_000015922195Large

mpw_logo2_1000pxAnd, of course, the 16th annual listing from Fortune of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business is out. Check out not only the complete global list, but their separate list of the Most Powerful Women of Europe, the Middle East & Africa.

Sayonara CWBR, Greetings GIWER

Twenty-five years ago, not too long after the passage of the Women’s Business Ownership Act of 1988, the leaders of the National Association of Women Business Owners established a non-profit research arm – the National Foundation for Women Business Owners. The NFWBO, later the Center for Women’s Business Research (CWBR), was responsible for much of the early research exploring the characteristics, contributions and challenges of women business owners and their enterprises. Some of the most frequently-quoted data nuggets included:forkinroad

  • Women-owned businesses employ more workers than the Fortune 500 combined. (“Women-Owned Businesses: The New Economic Force” 1992)
  • The thinking styles of women entrepreneurs as a group – though differing from men entrepreneurs in being more intuitive and more reflective – are, in large part, closer to men business owners than to working women in general. (“Styles of Success: The Thinking and Management Styles of Women and Men Entrepreneurs” 1994)
  • Women-owned businesses are just as financial strong and creditworthy as all U.S. firms, with similar performance on bill payment and similar levels of credit risk. (“Breaking the Boundaries: The Progress and Achievement of Women-Owned Enterprises” 1995)
  • Fully 78% of women business owners spend time volunteering, compared to 48% of all adults in the U.S., 51% of all women, and 56% of all business owners. (“Giving Something Back: Volunteerism Among Women Business Owners in the U.S.” 1996)
  • Today’s generation of women business owners have a different blend of pre-entrepreneurial business experience than women who have been in business 20 years or more. They are more likely to have been in the workforce just prior to launching their business, in a managerial rather than a clerical position. (“Paths to Entrepreneurship: New Directions for Women in Business” 1998)
  • Just 9% of the venture capital deals and 2.3% of the dollars invested by VC firms interviewed went to women-led firms. And among the women entrepreneurs interviewed, those with equity capital (just 6% of those interviewed) were more likely to have obtained it from informal or individual investors rather than from venture capital firms. (“Women Entrepreneurs in the Equity Capital Markets: The New Frontier” 2000)

Well, the Center is officially no more. After several years of financial difficulties and relative inactivity, the assets of the Center will now be housed at Babson College’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership, and the Center will be reborn as the Global Initiative for Women’s Entrepreneurship Research, or GIWER. In a recent announcement, Babson College professor, and former chair of CWBR, Patricia R. Greene stated, “This new program advances CWBR’s mission to the global level.” Importantly, from the Womenabler’s point of view, the dozens of research studies published by the Center will be archived at CWEL and will once again be available to researchers, students, and womenablers everywhere.

Kudos to Babson College, its CWEL, and to Patti Greene for preserving the Center’s legacy, and for taking it forward onto the global stage.

14th Annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Report Published

The 2012 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor was recently unveiled at an event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (ranked 12th in the world on the ease of doing business in the World Bank’s Doing Business rankings).
GEM2012
This is the 14th year for the unique and impactful international effort. Starting in 1999 with 10 countries, the GEM collaboration now includes 69 world economies accounting for 87% of global GDP.

Of special interest to we womenablers, of course, is the ongoing accounting of the continuing gap in the share of adult females starting and growing businesses compared to their male counterparts. In nearly every region of the world, women are less likely to be starting new enterprises or to own established businesses.

The new report, however, indicates that the gender gap in business ownership has virtually disappeared in sub-Saharan Africa. The gap is widest in the Middle East and North Africa, where men are 2.8 times as likely as women to own a business.

Conversely, according to the new report, there are five countries in which entrepreneurship rates among women are actually higher than among men: Ecuador, Ghana, Nigeria, Panama, and Thailand.

To learn more about the report GEM and this latest effort, read the recent news release, visit the GEM website, or download the report.

Finally, check out the series of special reports on women and entrepreneurship, the most recent of which was published in 2011.

Pearls from New GEM Women’s Report

A new report on trends in women’s entrepreneurship, drawing on the multi-country Global Entrepreneurship Monitor surveys, has just been published by a team of researchers from Babson College. The GEM 2010 Women’s Report draws on data collected from surveys of over 175,000 adults in 59 countries, including 14,000 women business owners.

As in previous GEM women’s reports, the researchers point to a continuing gap in entrepreneurial activity among women compared to men, lower levels of self-confidence among women, and lower levels of growth aspirations among women business owners compared to their male counterparts.

The 59 economies are grouped into three categories (newly-named as of the 2008 GEM study and roughly equivalent to the previous low, moderate, and high income definitions): factor-driven, efficiency-driven, and innovation-driven. However, these categorizations do not seem to impact the gender analysis on many of the key findings:

  • women are found to have smaller, less diverse professional networks than men,
  • in all but one country (Ghana!), women are less likely than men to own businesses, and
  • while internationalization increases with economic development, in all three types of economies women are less likely to trade internationally than men.

One intriguing new analysis contained in this report is a look at entrepreneurship gender gaps over time in the 16 countries that have been included in the GEM consortium for most of the past nine years. It was found that the gender gaps in entrepreneurship rates that had been quite wide in Argentina and Brazil as of 2002 have now virtually disappeared, while – conversely – in China where there had previously been no gender gap in entrepreneurship rates there is now a significant gap, with women now being much less likely than men to own a business.

For more information about the report, and to download a free copy of the 56-page report, CLICK HERE, and for a listing of all five GEM women’s reports published since 2004, CLICK HERE.