In the European Union (EU-28) the percentage of female entrepreneurs is 31% (10.3M) out of a total of 40.6M active entrepreneurs, as documented in 2012, by the European Commission statistics, with a population split in 2018, of 262M female (51%), compared to 251M male (49%) inhabitants,.
In the U.S. according to data from PitchBook and All Raise, an organization supporting women in venture capital, female founded startups last year raised $2.88B split across 482 startups. That’s a meager 2.2% of the $130B venture capital money invested in 2018, with a similar to the EU population split in 2017 of 166M female (51%) in the United States, compared to 159M male inhabitants.
Experts studying the trend believe that the number of female entrepreneurs is currently growing due to the ever-present gender pay gap, the ability to create their own work/life balance, and to have greater control over their personal, professional and financial future. But at the same time female entrepreneurs in the first world societies as statistics show are grossly underrepresented.
As a female founder, embarking in the entrepreneurial journey is amazing and exciting, but we do need to make sure that we keep the younger generations engaged in order to achieve in the future a more equal representation between male and female entrepreneurs in business. And the only way to achieve that is through the choices the younger generations make as consumers and professionals that reflect their support of female businesses and entrepreneurs.
Buy from Female founded Businesses
No matter what you want to buy whether it’s a product or service do your research and find out if a female founded provider exists to what you’re looking for. Their probably is at least one available and by choosing to buy from a female founded business you show direct financial support. This also allows the company to continue to make and improve their product offering but it also demonstrates a moral support. By shopping from female founded companies, we support their growth and development and show investors where they could/should invest their money.
Become a Mentor
If you’re part of that 31% of female entrepreneurs, in the EU or a businesswoman in general, consider becoming a mentor to the younger generation of female professionals. Young female professionals, especially young female entrepreneurs, can always use a helping hand when it comes to growing their skills, business acumen, and professional network.
There are many local and national organizations that offer mentoring programs for female entrepreneurs, in Greece. With a little bit of research, you can pair up with a female entrepreneur who would appreciate and value your experience, knowledge, expertise guidance and support. Mentoring not only offers direct support to female entrepreneurs, but it indirectly creates a network effect when a current mentee down the line becomes a future mentor.
Support Female-centric Organizations and Initiatives
If you have the funds to provide, consider donating to one of these organizations whose main goal is to further female entrepreneurship and representation within business, which you most identify with. They are always looking for financial support to help fund their services, workshops, and development programs, such as mentoring.
If donating is not an option, consider volunteering your time and effort with an organization of your choice. The majority of these organizations are not-for-profits therefore managed by volunteers, so if you have the time and skills to assist them, you are making an incredible difference in supporting and empowering female entrepreneurs.
Female entrepreneurs still have quite a distance to go when it comes to fair representation within business, sitting idly on the sidelines and hoping that the numbers will change does not work. Instead, it’s important to take actions that will increase support for female entrepreneurs and the assist them in the change they are creating.
In a nutshell, that’s why we will be supporting the 1st Startup Weekend Athens Women on September 27th, hosted by The Cube Athens team. Book your seat here we are really looking forward to meeting you there.
Want to learn more on how-to-do, drop us an email and we will be happy to share our knowledge and insights with you!
Christos Lytras – Managing Partner