Is the rise in female entrepreneurship due to the fact that women tend to have companies or organizations that are more focused on the greater good? Our partners at the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women explore.
Recent studies have shown female entrepreneurs who receive micro-loans are more likely to use that money building their businesses; in order to give back to their families and their communities than their male counterparts. You see this in the products and services that women-owned businesses produce and the organizations that they put their time and money into.
We see this in our Peace Through Business program graduates from Rwanda and Afghanistan. After taking a total of 13 weeks of entrepreneurial education, they go back to their countries with a new sense of to pay forward their knowledge to other women entrepreneurs in their own community. As I believe “when you educate a woman, you educate a nation.”
According to the National Association of Women Business Owners’ (NAWBO) “2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report”, women are very optimistic about their business performance and the economic outlook going forward, which is a jump from 2013.
The report also found that 92 percent of women surveyed predict that more women will be venturing into entrepreneurship. These numbers are reflected in our program. In 2014, we received more applications for our 2014 class than ever before, and our statistics show that after eight years, more than 80 percent of our graduates are still in business, which is an amazing number for developing countries.
Hillary Clinton’s International Fund for Women and Girls initiative reports that, in emerging markets, women reinvest a staggering 90 cents of every additional dollar of income in their families’ education, health and nutrition. Compare this to only 30-40 percent that men reinvest. Think of women’s increased income and assets as a gender dividend driving family, community and country well-being.
The recent Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) found 126 million women owned businesses, and 98 million operating established (over three and a half years) businesses. That’s 224 million women impacting the global economy — and this survey counts only 67 of the 188 countries recognized by the World Bank.
Entrepreneurial activity creates growth and prosperity — and solutions for social problems. And today’s trends show that women will be a driving force of entrepreneurial growth in the future.