Female entrepreneurship breaks down barriers around work-life balance

On the one hand, digital entrepreneurship has been the main driver of value creation in business over the past few decades – it helps spread scientific advances encourage technological innovation, revitalizing the fabric of enterprises and promoting employment. In addition, it is responsible for 40% to 70% of a country’s economic growth, says the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

On the other hand, according to the startup accelerator CommuteWomen have traditionally worked in less technology-intensive sectors or in sectors that require lower initial investment, such as B. services or fashion. According to UNESCOthat’s because less than 30% of scientific researchers worldwide are women.

Women have traditionally worked in less technology-intensive sectors or in sectors that require less initial investment, such as manufacturing. B. services or fashion

Ryan Newton emphasizes that there is also a digital literacy problem: “In the fintech world, solutions go to people who already have bank accounts, who are already comfortable with the apps,” she says. However, she goes on to explain that “although around 70% of the population in Mexico owns a smartphone, only 4% say they have used it for financial services”. As for women, the expert notes they often have fewer digital skills and tend to distrust digital services.

That ‘Entrepreneurship with a gender perspectiveThe report states that to narrow this gap, attention should be paid to breaking down stereotypes, advocating for work-life balance, implementing new business models and increasing the visibility of female entrepreneurship.

Prudent savers, but with financing problems

A priority is ensure women have access to tools that support business creation and longevity, such as B. Strengthening a network of contacts, using mentoring networks and especially funding sources. For example, when women take out loans, they tend to receive less capital and pay higher interest rates, even though they offer more collateral than men.

In fact, a study by the Business School of the Central American Institute of Business Administration (INCAE) showed that while most businesspeople reported closing their businesses due to poor profitability, Business women claimed that the cause of their business failure was the difficulty in obtaining funding. “If a financial product has certain requirements that a woman doesn’t have by default, like property, then they’re excluded from that loan,” Newton explains.

For its part, Valenzuela, which has also discussed these factors at the BBVA Open Innovation Women Talks eventexplains why women sometimes don’t have the assets that can serve as a guarantee of funding: “In modest parts of Mexico, like Oaxaca, notaries recommend that you leave your inheritance only to male family members, since daughters end up marrying and their inheritance.” shall share the man’s property”.

“It’s not that women are risk averse, we measure it better”

However, the Women Entrepreneur Report 2019 points out that Companies with women leaders operate with more consistent business plans. “Women aren’t risk averse, we measure it better; we’re more likely to save money and be more grounded,” claims Valenzuela. She adds that during the economic crisis caused by the pandemic, the BBVA found that it wasn’t the women who weren’t paying their debts.

Design with everyone in mind

There’s more homework for the list of things to do to achieve equality in entrepreneurship – listen and think of everyone. For this reason, BBVA’s Director of Strategy points out that there is a need for financial companies to do away with hierarchical guidelines. “To design products to meet everyone’s needs, you must allow and teach your organization to listen to those below for ideas to come through.” Ryan Newton adds that each situation should be considered: “It’s not just about identifying gaps in what’s on offer for women, it’s about uncovering them in every underserved or vulnerable segment.”

Education, for its part, has an issue hanging in the balance – Promoting entrepreneurial culture among women to redefine the profile of women entrepreneurs. Also, financial institutions need to adopt a gender-sensitive approach, taking into account the needs of all niches when designing products and services so that they can form the basis of new businesses.

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly in relation to gender equality, requires innovative solutions that help break down trends and stereotypes so that no woman is left behind. As journalist and presenter Diane Sawyer says, “Whatever you want in life, other people will want it too. Believe enough in yourself to accept the idea that you have an equal right to it.”

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