It’s no secret that women are quickly rising to become the cornerstone demographic within entrepreneurship. Women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs, having grown by over 114% between 1997 and 2017, raking in over 1.7 trillion dollars last year! Currently, women entrepreneurs comprise 39% of the 28 million small businesses operating across the United States, and that number is expected to grow.
If you’re a women entrepreneur, you’ve known these facts for a while. You probably also intuitively know that though women entrepreneurs are incredibly successful at what they do, they do it with far less funding than their male entrepreneurs.
This week, a study from SCORE just put female founder’s personal experience into data: with far less funding, women entrepreneurs perform just as well as their male entrepreneurial counterparts.
Having surveyed more than 20,000 entrepreneurs across genders at various points in the startup cycle, SCORE found that both men and women are equally successful at building companies. Considering women obtained less than 2% of venture capital funding last year, these numbers are especially impressive, as they imply women are able to produce companies that are just as successful as male counterparts with far less capital.
The report goes on to further detail that men are more likely to seek financing – including loans and or equity financing, and in doing so, are more likely to get monetary backing. Women, conversely, are more likely to dip into credits cards, family and friends network, or take out other types of loans.
Interestingly, mentorship proved to be a key indicator of whether entrepreneurs – male or female – would start a company at all. Entrepreneurs with a mentor are over 5x more likely to start a company than those without one. More so, those entrepreneurs with mentors are 12% more likely to have their companies in business one year after launch than those without. Regardless of the gender identity of either entrepreneurs or mentors, the most influential factor in determining whether a relationship would work or not was respect.