In nearly 40% of economies, women’s early-stage entrepreneurial activity is half or less than half of that of men’s. The COVID-19 pandemic has added an unprecedented challenge for economies and founders. Female entrepreneurs are the ones who have been hit harder, as they overcome pre-existing barriers, such as lack of access to finance, lack of networks and mentors and gendered priorities, among others.
In Silicon Valley, I have been working with accelerators as Techstars and Stanford’s StarX to support entrepreneurs in these though COVID-19 times. Now, the Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies has published our new research paper on the topic. Together with Julio Navío (UNED) and Ricardo Gimeno (Bank of Spain), and the collaboration of Ruth Mateos de Cabo’s CEU Women & Corporate Leadership Group, we explore opportunities that may help female entrepreneurs need for financing worldwide: bootstrapping, banks, business angels, venture capital or crowdfunding. Some findings:
- On top of their savings, a great number of entrepreneurs need additional financing from external sources, specially in COVID-19 times
- Some of them may be informal, like those provided by friends and family, but third-party external financing (banks, venture capital…) is essential for their success and growth
- These decisions regarding financing are influenced by external dimensions, such as the environment, as well and the innovation of the activity
I hope we can contribute to close the gender gap in entrepreneurship.