Companies created by women have a mortality rate of 29%, compared to 56% for men
Only 16% of startups are led by women in Spain, according to data from the W Startup Community. However, they have twice the survival rate. The mortality rate for businesses started by women is 29%, compared to 56% led by men.
Why? The independent director of several companies and author of the book Entrepreneurs, Teresa Alarcos, affirms that “it is a pattern that is repeated in all countries.” In addition, she is also the founder of the W Startup Community and ensures that the conclusions of her studies are the same as in the United States, France or Germany. “The startups of women last longer, they are more solvent, they borrow less and, when they are leveraged, they pay back the loans better,” he explains.
Given these results, she attributes the absence of entrepreneurial women to the education they receive from a young age and lists three factors: “First, your vocation and your purpose. Second, that in that vocation and that purpose you find the way, because if you don’t see anyone to teach you, you don’t know where to go. And third, that in Europe being an entrepreneur is still seen as a crazy path ”.
The founder of the Batchor image management and processing solution, Inma Arteaga, chose that path five years ago. Now, at 31, she assures that she has “gained a lot in security”, but identifies that lack of confidence as one of the reasons that hold women back from setting up their businesses. “They think about it much more, they have to be very clear about it. This leads to greater survival because those who finally do so have management skills and all the motivation and commitment to move forward,” he acknowledges.
The lack of security also plays a decisive role when it comes to obtaining investment, since, as Arteaga indicates, “it is very important to be convincing, because if you don’t believe it, nobody is going to bet on your company.” Even so, for the director of Let’s Coder, Olga Boisán, the financing difficulties for women go further. “Access to finance is much more difficult for women, so we end up having smaller startups and looking for rounds of funding lower than what men usually seek. Almost all investors are men and that makes finding even more difficult. financing “, he confesses.
His project, Let’s Coder, is a bootcamp that was born with the aim of satisfying the growing demand for programmers. To this day, in addition to being a benchmark for more than a year, Boisán is the only woman in the company. “Working in a highly technological sector with a male tradition, I find myself surrounded by men, but, in addition, most of the students who sign up for our bootcamps are too. Only 20% are women,” she laments.
In fact, the number of women entrepreneurs is even lower in the case of digital businesses, standing at 14%. However, digital and technological entrepreneurship is precisely the main engine of value creation in the economy in recent decades, with an industry of 2.8 trillion euros, according to the 2018-19 report of the World Economic Forum. For this reason, the director of Womenalia, María Gómez del Pozuelo, insists on the need to make female referents visible in these areas. “The limits are placed on us by our fears, our doubts and insecurities and our many centuries of culture that have tried to direct and delimit our steps towards caring for the home and family, which has reduced our options and opportunities,” he says.
Equating the proportion of companies led by men and women, they say, would not only be a success in the field of gender equality, it would also be a victory for the entire business fabric. “If there were more women entrepreneurs, the GDP of the countries would grow two or three points,” suggests Alarcos. In this sense, Gómez del Pozuelo assures that “companies with a higher diversity ratio have a 25% probability of achieving financial results above the average”. Diversity, that is the key for Arteaga: “We would arrive at solutions that add more value, because if the decision-makers are more diverse people, with other points of view, it will probably help us to build a more positive business fabric for society.