When a "C-" Lands You at the Head of the Class...
In June of last year, Dell released its findings of the Global Women Entrepreneur Leaders Scorecard (essentially, a report card that measures the growth and other aspects of female-owned businesses around the world). With an overall score of 71 (out of a possible 100), the #1 spot on the Scorecard was awarded to ours truly, the United States.
That’s right, a 71. For the non-mathematicians in the blogosphere, that means the US earned a gold medal in the female entrepreneurship Olympics with the functional equivalent of a C minus. To put our “win” in perspective, of the 31 countries that were included in the study, more than 70% of the participants received a score below the 50% mark (yes, failing—literally).
Dell isn’t the only big player paying attention to this issue. A quick Google search reveals that bigtime business websites (think: www.forbes.com and www.entrepreneur.com, to name a couple) are ripe with on-point articles about female startups and businesses. Other titan tech giants are offering programs and summits to continue the conversation, and they are putting skin in the game by funding research and creating opportunities for female entrepreneurs. Research groups and universities across the country are waking up and paying attention and providing us with the facts and figures that illuminate readers like me.
With new studies and statistics becoming available at a rapid pace, there’s no shortage of information for those of us who have taken a seat on the female entrepreneurship bandwagon. In fact, with so much information coming online in a relatively short time period, the greater challenge may be to digest the studies and statistics and figure out how to take this newfound knowledge and use it to start bridging the gaps and closing the gender divide in entrepreneurship.
Through a series of blog posts, my goal, with the help of some wonderful people in the ecosystem who care passionately about this issue as well, will be to start (well, join) conversations about certain “inalienable truths” of female entrepreneurship. I refer to them as “inalienable” because, even though the numbers may be static and vary a point or two depending on which article you read, the core findings are beyond dispute. While I’m not one to completely show my hand, to ensure that you’ll be waiting on the edge of your seat, some of the “truths” we will explore include:
- The number of female businesses are increasing (rapidly). In fact, research on “middle-market” businesses (firms with between $10 million and $1 billion in revenues) that are owned or led by women are increasing at five to seven times the pace of business in general.
- While statistics show that funding of female-led companies is on the rise, a significant gap in fundraising and financing (still) exists for female entrepreneurs.
- While there is room to improve (refer to the C minus award from the Dell Scorecard above), good things are happening and there are lots of people coming together to help us move the needle in a positive way. There are networks and resources available in unprecedented levels. In a not-so-shameless plug, feel free to take a sneak peek at some of the local resources that are passionate about helping female entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses:
I’ll leave you with one more inalienable truth as “food for thought” until we connect again: a C minus on any report card still means “below average.” We are (and can be) so much better than that.
The blog content should not be construed as legal advice.