IWD 2019: The Rise of the Female Entrepreneur

With today being International Women’s Day,  Salesforce is sharing through a recent report that explores how female entrepreneurs are shaping the small business landscape in Canada. While women business owners are making huge strides, this report indicates that there is still work to be done.

Commissioned in partnership with The Gandalf Group, The New Canadian Entrepreneur: Women and the Future of Small/Medium Business in Canada shares how small business owners are increasingly female, younger and more educated than entrepreneurs of previous generations. Highlights are below and I’ve attached the entire report for easy reference.

The Rise of the Female Entrepreneur

  • 53% of female-led businesses have been in business for five years or less, compared to 34% of male-led business, suggesting that women are starting businesses at a far greater rate.
  • There is a growing number of female entrepreneurs under the age of 45 (59%) compared to their male counterparts under 45 (42%). About one quarter (27%) of  female entrepreneurs are younger than 35.

What is driving the momentum?

  • Women tend to be more motivated by work-life balance (79%), whereas men tend to be more motivated by financial considerations (78%).
  • While women stated work-life balance as the top reason for starting their business (79%), it is also one of the biggest challenges they face as entrepreneurs (52%).

Industry Focus: STEM:

  • Men are twice as likely as women to own a business in the STEM sector
  • Women business owners in the STEM sector experience significantly greater challenges than their male counterparts:
    • 65% of women surveyed struggle to achieve work-life balance (compared to 48% of men)
    • 63% of women surveyed reported obstacles accessing capital (compared to 40% of male entrepreneurs)
    • 61% of women surveyed feel that their services are undervalued by customers (compared to 41% of male entrepreneurs)

When it comes to technology adoption, the data showed few gender differences yet displayed stark generational disparities, suggesting that technology is contributing to the uptick in younger, female entrepreneurs and levelling the playing field for women and men business owners in Canada. Toronto-based entrepreneur Leigh-Anne Nugent, CEO, LAN CRM, is a living example of this. After beginning her career at an asset management firm in a Salesforce Admin role, she became a single mother and needed to take her future into her own hands. Leveraging her knowledge of CRM technology, she founded a Salesforce consultancy. Technology has empowered her to be her own boss in a male dominated industry while also achieving the work-life balance she needs as a young single mother.

The report can be found here and it’s very much worth a read.

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