In 2015, at the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network Summit, the challenges women face as business owners and the opportunities available to women were analysed, and the results weren’t good.
Whilst many expected to see some restrictions and low figures, the results suggested that there was a long way for women to go when it came to entrepreneurialism and their successes.
The analysis looked at 31 countries to establish the challenges and opportunities women face to “launch, scale, create jobs and disrupt industries”. There were five key categories that these were evaluated in: leadership and rights, access to resources, relative business environments, the potential for high-growth in women-owned businesses and pipeline for female entrepreneurship.
Within the results it was found that the growth of businesses owned by women was stifled by gender-based differences. A score of below 50 percent was found in most of the 31 countries, which Dell described as demonstrating a significant gap in the growth of male- and female-owned businesses.
The US ranks at the top
Speaking about the study, chief marketing officer and senior vice president at Dell, Karen Quintos, said that for a thriving global economy, small businesses and successful entrepreneurs are critical. She also went on to say that Dell believes female entrepreneurs should play an important role in business and leadership going forward.
The best place for women entrepreneurs was the U.S., which topped the list due to the private sector’s job mobility for women and its favorable business environment overall. However, by scoring 71 out of 100, it means there is still plenty of room for growth and improvement.
Dell made a number of recommendations as to how these improvements can be made, including giving women more reasonable access to resources such as training, financing, the Internet and education. They also recommended that more women should be leaders in small and large businesses and that the governments should be more active in trying to assist women, providing women-owned businesses with public procurement contracts.
Dell also announced that in order to match their own mentors to female entrepreneurs that are emerging in developing economies, they’d be teaming up with the Cherie Blair Foundation.
2016 Is the Golden Age for women entrepreneurs
Many feel as though 2016 has marked a turning point for women entrepreneurs with the chair of the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), Carla Harris, saying that with interest rates at record lows, commercial borrowing has become more available, which provides the perfect opportunity for them.
Using their entrepreneurialism, women are able to start companies when they see a potential gap in the market that they could fill. They then target this market through a number of different initiatives to propel their business forward, using exceptional healthcare marketing ideas, for example. And, according to The 2015 Kauffman Index: Startup Activity, women are better at seeing these potential gaps in the marketplace and are able to seize their opportunities with more success than their male counterparts.
The media plays an important role
One area that provides women with a road map and inspires their entrepreneurship skills is the media. There are many stories about women who are on the rise or have succeeded in their ambitions and these are given high visibility, which demonstrates the public’s desire to see these types of stories in the press. Not only that, but women are also making a name for themselves on the Forbes 2015 World’s Most Powerful Women List. By building empires, these women have become celebrities.
The media also play a huge part in showcasing all of the challenges that women are facing. Using statistics and juicy stories about discrimination lawsuits, the media make sure the public are constantly reminded of the lack of diversity that’s apparent in a number of companies and industries.
According to the Middle Market Power Index, 13% of middle-market organisations are now led or owned by women. (A middle-market firm is one that has revenue of between $10 and $1 billion). Compared to general companies that are entering this market, there are eight times more companies entering it that are led by women. The growth of these firms between 2008 and 2014 was 4% but the growth of the firms that are led or owned by women was a whopping 32%.
There are a number of other areas that demonstrate just how women are proving their abilities within business as well as lots of research that shows the benefits of having a diverse team over a non-diverse one.
About the author
Christopher Hartley, who writes newsworthy articles on business topics, provided this article. An entrepreneur himself since the age of 19, Chris is now an angel investor for start-up companies he believes can succeed. He also runs business courses, as well as taking part in the community with career talks at local schools.