COVID crisis widens the gap for women entrepreneurs

Last week was celebrated the World Entrepreneurship Day, an event whose aim is to give visibility to women in this field and which wanted to take advantage of to analyze the situation in which they find themselves. The insurance platform also compares the difficulties they face compared to their male counterparts.

And could the situation generated by COVID-19 lead to reduced opportunities and widening of the gap. One of the most important factors is related to returning to work after childbirth at home because, unfortunately, it is they who continue to take care of children and the elderly to a large extent. In fact, observes that until the beginning of March, just before the state of alarm was declared, women led the growth of independents in Spain.

The difficulties of the enterprising woman

To this must be added other considerations. Among other things, that they feel more restrained than them when it comes to entrepreneurship: 45.8% consider that there are opportunities to do so, against 39.2% of women. But that’s not the only difference. Women are also less confident than men in their ability to do this.

Having said that, we find that, despite the fact that women make up 51% of the population, only 1 in 5 emerging companies in Spain are run by one of them. And that the typical profile of an entrepreneur in our country is that of a man (81%) with technical university studies and around 35 years old.

Fortunately, the last few years have seen the growth of businesses run by women – the gap has narrowed by 5%. Here again, we must add another merit: they tend to undertake alone more often than men. 62% of them do so against 26% of them. The sectors where women entrepreneurs are most present are fashion, leisure, culture, health and robotics.

However, as indicates, 54% of female entrepreneurship is led by rural entrepreneurship, compared to 30% of urban entrepreneurship. Some differences that could certainly get worse at this time.

The motivation of women entrepreneurs

It is interesting to observe what are the reasons for undertaking. In the case of rural women, 8 in 10 do so to have services that meet their needs and those of their environment. But there are also other reasons: in the case of women, entrepreneurship has a social meaning, if we compare it with men. In other words, the goal is to have greater independence and greater status.

Its characteristics include risk taking, positive character, personal motivations related to knowledge of the sector, creativity, social skills and proactivity, management skills, etc. Additionally, 60% see entrepreneurship as inspiring, 38% call it empowering and 36% say it could change their lives.

However, it should be noted that women are more careful than men. 73% consider financial stability to be fundamental, and up to 57% believe that it is necessary to have financial or business knowledge. Advice is another point to advise. It is interesting to note that in practice, 7 out of 10 men turn to entrepreneurship support services, while only 30% of them do. Another curious fact is that despite the fact that they get a better return on their investments, they have access to less funding.

The social factor of female entrepreneurship

A necessity factor is also observed in the case of women, compared to an opportunity factor in that of men. Something that is also related to the so-called glass ceiling that many of them face. Such is the case, that the entrepreneur profile is that of a woman between 35 and 44 years old, who seeks alternatives to the labor market 41% of the time. The search for conciliation and flexibility are other of its ambitions.

Considerations for undertaking

Considering the current situation, another crucial point is to consider not only what it costs to start the business, but also the expenses it would entail to close it. Here we can see a change in mentality, if we compare the attitude of those who are entrepreneurs now and those who did before the coronavirus crisis.

Comparator also recommends taking out civil liability insurance that protects the entrepreneur and his company against possible claims and damage to third parties. This would cover for example the accident of an employee within the company, the damage to a customer and even the costs of indemnity and defense in many cases.

If you have an office, it will be worthwhile to hire a policy covering computers and furniture. It may also be interesting to have self-employed insurance which responds in the event of sick leave, and which guarantees an income to the person concerned in the event of accident or illness. Covering lost profits or lost profits is also very practical; especially in these uncertain economic times. The latter will be responsible in the event of loss of performance due to a temporary or partial interruption of the activity.

Government support, mentorship programs led by women, improved communications and the creation of specific circles are also key initiatives.

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