From the outside, business is business. It exists to create products, attract customers, generate revenue, and hopefully make a profit. There’s good business and bad business, but we’re all trying to do the same thing.
So does it matter if an entrepreneurial company is owned and controlled by a man or a woman?
Now, according to a study released by a London-based financial technology company, summary, with some differences. Female entrepreneurs and small business owners have somewhat different priorities than male entrepreneurs, and the companies they run tend to be more diverse in terms of their hiring policies.
It’s perhaps not surprising that genders have different priorities, but as the report highlights, female entrepreneurs face some real challenges when entering the choppy waters of entrepreneurship. We spoke with Sumup’s VP of Global Marketing, Nina Etienne, about the findings.
Sumup’s interest in the subject reflects its unique connection with entrepreneurs. The company’s products are aimed squarely at small business owners. Products range from hardware (card readers) to accounting, billing, and online store software. Global As her vice president of marketing, Nina Etienne, explains, the company’s research objective, based on responses from small business customers, was to understand women’s experiences in business.
“International Women’s Day was approaching,” says Etienne.
Over 2,000 business owners took part in the survey, 700 of them in the UK. Part of the aim was to gain insight into how to better support female entrepreneurs, but male-led companies were also included in the conversation to make comparisons.
Why start a business
One of the traditional motivations for starting a business can be characterized as “I want to be my own boss.” After all, this may be a bit of a male perspective. The female entrepreneur’s top motivation (38%) was the desire to achieve a better work-life balance. And 66% of women who have started and run businesses say that maintaining that balance is their top priority. For men, generating income topped the list of goals.
But is there a disconnect between aspirations and the reality of running a successful business? When I talk to business owners, many say that work is everything, especially if the venture is in its early stages. I guess. Instead of her 40 hours in the office as an employee, her working week as an entrepreneur could be at least 60 hours.
The survey captures a certain tension here, with 31% of women saying pressure on family life is a concern compared to just 20% of men.
square the circle
So can women entrepreneurs square the yen? The survey doesn’t capture that, but Etienne says women may be ready to show more flexibility in how they run their businesses. “It is perhaps a generalization to say that women-owned businesses operate more efficiently, but women business owners are more open to experimenting with different policies and management styles. I think there is strong evidence to suggest being open, for example prioritizing and implementing diversity and inclusion, flexible working hours and remote work, which in many cases makes staff happier and be diligent.”
Well, perhaps, another survey published by Global Tech Festival Coinciding with London Tech Week, not only are some women struggling to find a work-life balance, but financial necessity has forced them to take on multiple jobs. suggests that there are Her 15% of female tech workers said they were previously either self-employed or business owners but had to take on other roles to survive. Work-life balance can be elusive.
Devotion to diversity
Sumup also found that female-led SMEs tended to value diversity. Nearly a third of male employers do not see the benefits of having a diverse workplace compared to her quarter of women.
Women-led companies are much more likely to hire women. Is this a conscious choice or an unconscious choice? “Often, male-owned businesses are less likely to attract female talent because job ads can be accidentally filtered out during the recruitment process. I don’t think it’s necessarily a positive choice for both companies to hire members of each gender, but instead the underlying reason is that candidates are looking for a more suitable and more understanding work environment. I think it’s due to a combination of cultural factors,” says Etienne.
Etienne emphasizes that one of her personal passions is to encourage more women to become entrepreneurs. But there is a deterrent. This research suggests that women are much more likely to suffer from imposter syndrome than men.Impostor syndrome – the voice in your head saying, ‘You shouldn’t be doing this’ .
There is a risk of oversimplification in interpreting these studies, and the headline findings probably do not take into account the various types of entrepreneurial businesses that emerge. For example, a tech entrepreneur seeking VC cash, regardless of gender, may be much more focused on growth and revenue than, say, his work-life balance. Other businesses are specifically formed to support lifestyles and can put the balance between home and office at the forefront of their founders’ thinking.
But the findings that the gender of a business influences how it operates is probably a good thing, from an innovation and diversity perspective.