Women as social entrepreneurs and why is it harder for them to obtain investments


An estimated 45% of the world's social entrepreneurs are female, according to the research. That's truly gender-balanced, especially when compared to classic businesses, where only 29% of women are in senior positions.

You might account for the usual stereotype of ladies being more emphatic or nurturing. However, the inequality problem arises in fundraising – considering that it is much harder for women to obtain investments for their respective social businesses. Technology start-up events attract an audience that consists mostly of men, while women tend to participate in social entrepreneurship-oriented events significantly more. Yet, these are different from ones focusing on social innovations. „The problem is two-fold. Firstly, it's about the ambitions; secondly – it's highly tied to self-confidence," explains Simona Simutyte, the founder of ChangeMakersON. While female founders obtain only 2% of the investments into social businesses, it is important to note that only 10% of pitches for investors originate from women. 90% of funding requests are of males.

"There's this strange communicative construct and I do get this question a lot myself – How do you feel as a female entrepreneur?", shares our expert. "I always return that with "You mean, how do I feel as an entrepreneur?".

Women still somewhat oblige themselves to feel like she-founders, therefore also creating segregation. "When we talk about business, enterprises, social business, or entrepreneurship, we do not speak in regards to gender. Meanwhile, when a female's pitch is gender-based, the lack of confidence often comes to light as it's expressed through a plea rather than a request; or is accompanied by an excessive power demonstration." ponders the CEO, "It doesn't come across as natural."

The aforementioned situation often subconsciously translates as a message of someone who came to fight, while the investors are not looking for short-term fighters – instead, they're in search of someone with sufficient skills and personal qualities to go forward. Women, without any generalization, pack plenty of such expertise naturally, as they bring a lot of power alongside valuable patience due to their rather unfavorable statistical position. "A lot of female empowerment movements have a shade of "let's bear through", rather than "we're all equal" – and translates as a result of subconscious inferiority complex, while it is completely not about gender." notices Simona. "We should encourage ourselves as equals, rather than excessively question oneself based on gender." #socialfinancelab #impactinvestment #womenempowerment #erasmusplus

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Erasmus Plus KA2 Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

Project No: 2020-1-DE02-KA202-007564

Project title: Collaborate learning of alternative finances and funding for social entrepreneurs

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.