Why Women Entrepreneurship is Important

As Global Entrepreneurship Week comes to a close, we wanted to highlight an article written by Alicia M. Robb called Gender gap still a big issue for startups.

In this article Robb discusses the need for successful women role models as a key ingredient to increase the number of women entrepreneurs. She states, “we need to make sure we publicize and highlight the successes of female entrepreneurs.” Role models are a motivator and many women are stepping up to support other woman entrepreneurs by offering mentorship and investment. One business that grew out of the passion to assist women-led startups is Mergelane, an accelerator program in Boulder, CO.

Robb also touches on the difficulties of gaining equity capital as a women-owned business. In her research she found “male founders were more than three times as likely as female founders to access equity financing through angels or VCs.” Read the full article here.

In conjunction with Women’s Entrepreneurship Day on November 19th, Robb released a report she coauthored called Sources of Economic Hope: Women’s Entrepreneurship. The report is a result of a survey of “women founders, presidents, CTOs and technologists of start-ups founded between 2002 and 2012.”

Women represent more than half of the educated population but such a low percentage of women are amongst high-growth companies. Because of this, the report explores the idea that “given the slowing rates of business creation, the long-term pessimism about growth in the United States, and the rising share of women among educated workers, it seems clear that the future of American entrepreneurship and growth is in the hands of women.” Through the survey, they found that there are three main challenges for women-owned high-tech firms; lack of mentorship, their view of success and failure, and a financing gap.

The survey findings indicated, “Women entrepreneurs represent a large and untapped resource for generating jobs and high-growth businesses.” Read the report to see the recommendations they list to fill that financing gap and “capitalize on the growth opportunity that exists with women entrepreneurs.”