Business ventures led by women generate on average less funding than male ventures due to lack of trust from banks and investment funds, which, along with problems of matchmaking or lack of references, are the main obstacles that women face at the time of implementation.
This was made clear at the “Women and Entrepreneurship” forum, organized by the EFE Foundation and held at the Adeit Fundación Universidad-Empresa, where four women, representatives from politics, the university and the business world agreed to highlight the need to decouple from education. All those stereotypes.
Alicia Rubio, Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Murcia and one of the authors of the report prepared by the Spanish Observatory for Entrepreneurship (Spanish GEM Network) for Coca-Cola, within the GIRA Mujeres Entrepreneurship Program, explained that the “initial capital” for starting a business is about 64,000 euros for women and 74,000 euros for men.
Women are exposed to more risks
This means that men’s businesses are ‘born strong and have more money’, but women also take more risks because they have ‘worse access to banking sources’, and while men are more financed by banks, in the case of women it is done through friends or family.
This means, from the outset, that female entrepreneurship are born at a disadvantage compared to male enterprises in terms of their own financial perception, i.e., apart from the difficulties that female entrepreneurship may encounter due to cultural issues, there is a purely economic significance. The financial gap.
“We also see it when we talk about salaries or the position that women occupy in the company,” Rubio added.
For her part, Pilar Bernabé, Vice Mayor of Valencia City Council and Head of Economic Development and Employment, emphasized that in venture capital funds, women are allocated only the second percentage of total private funding received by entrepreneurship projects, according to a report by Business Angels.
Says Burnaby, who asserts that the “worrying fact” is that only 20% of startups (startups) are led by women.
Helga Figueroa, winner of the fifth edition of the Gira Mujeres de Coca-Cola Entrepreneurship Program with her project DoggieSnax, acknowledges that she has been an entrepreneur her whole life and that women “have always had great difficulty financing ourselves, especially with bank financing”.
“The many times I’ve done it, I’ve always driven and found I needed a lot of endorsement, and they asked us to see who was behind the project, if not just me,” Figueroa says.
When asked if they had shown less confidence in the project due to the fact that it was driven by a woman, she confirmed it “yes, but very subtly” and explained that if she went with a colleague they thought he was leading the company. “There is a mainstream spirituality that still believes that with two people in front of us, the woman is not to blame.”
need for training
For her part, Adela Valero, Vice Rector for Employment at the University of Valencia, believes that the only way to improve society is to have the ability to be an entrepreneur but to go towards social, economic and environmental value, as stated in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Entrepreneurship is also learned and “people with training have been shown to be more entrepreneurial,” says Valero, who adds that when you have training, “the project gets integrated sooner, and it lasts longer.”
In the case of self-employment, women prefer subjects related to care, arts, and humanities, but in the case of STEM, science and engineering degrees, there is more self-employment and greater entrepreneurship in men. “It’s something we have to deal with in girls because they are young, from school,” Valero says.
He also points out that it is necessary to distinguish necessarily entrepreneurship, which is more common in less developed and less innovative fields, than entrepreneurship of trained people, “which is what should be sought to increase the quality of life of people and society”.
In fact, the GEM report collects that at present, 17% of women are immersed in the entrepreneurship process in Spain (versus 22% of men), although the percentage rises to 22% in the case of rural women.
In the case of rural women, they are undertaken out of necessity, have less training, lower income levels, and are “more resilient but bolder projects because there is a need. The greater the need to look for work, the greater the prowess and the making of women jump,” says Rubio. .
It also highlights that the five-point gap between men and women who take over, “although it seems pretty large, it’s five points less than the average European or US average. We’re absolutely fine.”
Additionally, consultant Pilar Barnaby highlighted that benefits for women-led companies increase by 5-20 percent because they favor teamwork, shared leadership and empathy.
As for female undergraduates, only 3 percent admit they want to start a business right at the end of their studies, which rises to 20 percent if the question is for five years, which in Rubio’s opinion means that “there is still a fear of going out”. And the belief that they need a little travel before launch.” Moreover, while boys prefer work, women prefer to work in the civil service at a higher rate than men.
Regarding this aspect, Helga Figeroa asserts that women “have a greater fear of the stage but also much more of the impostor syndrome”, which means that “often we feel more fear when it comes to undertaking because we feel we are incapable, but that is something Psychologist is saved by all the barriers we had to overcome.”
All speakers also agreed that the lack of female references in the business world was one of the biggest obstacles. “Among the IBEX35 companies, only five are led by women,” recalls Burnaby, whose “plot now is to highlight and create networks for women’s empowerment and, above all, talent and leadership in all areas”.
To this must be added the problems of reconciling, which in the case of the University of Valencia is manifested according to Valero that “there are more women but usually men occupy the higher positions, a gap that often occurs because women are of childbearing age. The childbearing age has other requirements of his time.” EFE