- November 16 2021
- 3 mins
Do women entrepreneurs get equal opportunities?
Entrepreneurship and scaling a startup are no longer a domain for males only, though the world is still catching up with the number of women entrepreneurs not being as much as men. However, many women are establishing startups in different niches every year. However, substantial barriers remain, providing equal opportunities to women entrepreneurs. Statistics indicate that women started and registered more business initiatives than men during the pandemic situation. These statistics are proof enough that women are successfully paving paths to claim their share in a male-dominated field.
However, despite more females becoming entrepreneurs, they still face many challenges. These include barriers like limited funding opportunity, gender biases, and difficulty accessing the government schemes launched for women entrepreneurs. While getting access to funds is a challenge for both men and women entrepreneurs face, women face more scrutiny than men. According to Crunchbase data, only about 4-5% of venture capital goes to women entrepreneurs globally. Due to this evident disparity in the funding, only 3-4% of the startups founded by women can reach the revenue scale of USD 1m or more, while men founded startups are 4x more likely to create ventures generating more than USD 1m in revenue.
To overcome the challenge of fundraising and scale, women need to know every kind and nature of funding they can avail. Some of them include applying for grants from the national and state governments or private enterprises? Many grants are available in various sectors; however, the women entrepreneurs may lack knowledge. Hence, the women entrepreneurs often gain information and access to such grants when being a part of innovation centres like Mirainxt. Another way women-led ventures can raise capital is by a good crowdfunding campaign. It is not the easiest way to get capital; however, it also serves the dual purpose of advertising your venture.
The next barrier to equal opportunity for women entrepreneurs is gender bias. It usually creates an unfavourable venture environment for female entrepreneurs. Society still seems to consider running a business a male-dominated initiative, so when females exhibit traits associated with entrepreneurial acumen, they are often regarded as aggressive and unnerving. Venture creation is an equal opportunity initiative and should not be hindered by biases. Mirainxt takes pride in being a part of an engineering institution only for women and is led by a female entrepreneur. As an innovation centre, Mirainxt can effectively neutralize gender biases.
During the covid-19 pandemic, women entrepreneurs have been disproportionately affected due to the work-life balance requirements coming into perspective. As a venture option, a significant number of female entrepreneurs founded and managed hospitality, travel and retail businesses, which had suffered greatly due to lockdowns. Alongside, they had to balance between household tasks and running a venture from home impacted women’s entrepreneurial spirit. However, one good thing is that many women entrepreneurs either pivoted or created new ventures in education, healthcare, financial services that will remain in high demand in the post covid era as well.
With women-led businesses on the rise, we’re closer to bridging the gap between male and female entrepreneurs. However, this is a long road ahead to reach a gender-neutral equal opportunity platform for entrepreneurship. Gender parity is a necessity for higher job creation and more participation of women in the workforce as well.