Women’s Entrepreneurship: The Key Figures

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Today 30% of French companies are created, and then run, by women. Women account for 40% of micro-enterprises, a third of whom are business consulting, one-quarter household service, and one-fifth in trade.

According to the government, the number of women entering entrepreneurship doubled between 2012 and 2015. Globally, Paris ranks 6th in the ranking of cities in which women undertake the most, just behind Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, the pioneers of the world of startups.

The share of women in entrepreneurship and their profile-type

30% of French companies are created and then run by women. Women account for 40% of micro-enterprises, of which 1/3 consists of business consulting, 1/4 in household service, and 1/5 in trade. 

Business leaders are more educated than men: 72% of them have a degree between a master’s degree and a doctorate, when only 62% of male business leaders graduate at this level. 

As with men, the average entrepreneur is married and has children, and must therefore balance family and professional life, 46% of them consider it easier to reconcile these two worlds as a business leader.

Funding for women-created and run enterprises

Women are less well funded than men when starting a business. Thus, 44% believe that the failures of start-up are due to the lack of funding. The credit rejection rate requested by entrepreneurs is 4.3%, when it is 2.3% for men, or almost half. Yet the financing they need is generally lower than that of their male counterparts, since companies initiated by women require a smaller starting line-up, as their companies often depend on the service or consulting sector. 44% believe that the failures to start a business can be explained by the lack of funding.

What about women’s entrepreneurship in Tech?

For the few women who undertake innovative technology-based startups, a field more popular with men, the initial capital requirements are greater, and this is where the problem of investment in entrepreneurs-led companies arises. 

In 2016, the latter raised 126.6 million euros for the development of their startup… that’s only 7% of the total amount of fundraising in the year!

The average fundraiser for a female-led startup is 1.8 million euros, compared to double (3.5 million euros) for male-led startups.

Why are the fundraisings initiated by women in Tech reduced compared to those enjoyed by men?

And while some bad languages might want to explain this difference in amounts by the quality of projects initiated by female-led startups, this would be a mistake, since the timing of the business development process in which fundraising is involved is the same for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs.

That is, they achieve the same goal, and get their funding at the same time, so they are tied on the path they follow in order to obtain grants. 

In 2015, only 15% of them raised funds in the digital industry.

According to Starther, a volunteer collective aimed at putting women entrepreneurs in the spotlight, companies created by women in Tech in 2017, which raised funds, are in the e-commerce and e-services sector at 59%, compared to 17% in IT, and only 13% in biotechnology. 

As the capabilities and practical knowledge of computer science and web tool creation are increasingly developing, it is likely that many of the companies in these 59% needed little funding, unlike companies focused on research and the creation of new materials.

What hypotheses explain these differences?

The reason why women raise less money than men in the process of starting a business is therefore likely to be a lower demand for financing. This is the sector in which women are embarking, which, once again, requires little funding to develop.

Whether it’s an individual business in the retail and consulting sector, or a tech startup, entrepreneurs would tend to ask for less financing than men. Eva Sadoun, founder of lita.co, a crowdfunding platform, says: “I feel that women are more accurately determining their need for cash while men are looking to maximize the amount raised to gain market share more quickly.” It remains to be seen whether they are right to settle for a subsidy that is less than their fellow human beings.