We're no stranger to the mantra that “the future is female”, but what does this future look like? What would the world look like if we had more female leaders and business owners? In 2019, women made up 40% of new entrepreneurs, becoming the driving force behind start-ups and small businesses across the globe.
Female leaders are present in almost every aspect of business and government, but campaigns like Elle’s ‘More Women’ show that we still have some way to go. The push for more female-founded start-ups isn’t for the sake of statistics. Female leaders and business owners bring with them positive change that is felt across society.
Female entrepreneurs and female-founded start-ups Having more female leaders means that the corporate world functions more effectively. With women being natural multi-taskers, that comes as no surprise. Female business leaders create a diverse workforce, bringing with them new ideas and innovation.
Looking at a situation through a female lens can turn a simple idea into a billion-dollar company that makes you the youngest self-made female billionaire. That’s the reality for Bumble’s founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd, whose dating app put women in control and saw her float her business on the New York Stock Exchange.
The consumer insights offered by women are what make female-founded start-ups so profitable and full of potential. Gender-diverse businesses financially outperform the industry median profit margin because they can tap into the ‘soft skills’ that women excel at and the innovation they bring with them.
For a generation of women who want to take on a c-suite role, the best way of achieving that is by launching their own business. In the last 20-years, the United States has seen the number of female-founded businesses increase by 74%. The rise of female start-ups is due to the freedom they offer women, along with the opportunities they bring to close the gender pay gap.
The economic impact of female business owners Research by Google has shown that female-founded companies and those led by women see a 35% higher return on investment than their male-led counterparts, along with being 12% more profitable.
The biggest economic impact of female entrepreneurship is yet to be unlocked. While the economic value of female start-ups gathers momentum, advancing gender equality could add $12 trillion to the global economy by 2025. In the best-case scenario, this figure could even jump to $28 trillion.
Tory Burch – whose Foundation works to inspire female entrepreneurs – views female start-ups as being essential to encourage other women to follow their aspirations in business.
The funding challenge still facing female entrepreneurs. One challenge facing female start-ups and entrepreneurs is the issue of funding. The hyper-competitive start-up industry still has some way to go to become gender-inclusive, with evidence of ingrained bias towards male-backed initiatives. Men launch start-up companies with a median capital of $30,000 – whereas women start with $8,000. Only 15% of venture capital funds go to female entrepreneurs and business leaders.
Women outscore men in most leadership skills, making them ideal candidates to launch start-ups and lead businesses. If the ‘future is female’, it means our economy – and society – will benefit from a diverse workforce that is proven to outperform traditional businesses. If you’re thinking of becoming an entrepreneur or launching your own start-up, this is your sign to join the millions of women doing just that.