Presented by Dell for Entrepreneurs

The gap between the number of men and women entrepreneurs is real, but it’s closing. With an average of nearly 2,000 U.S. women-owned businesses being founded every day, women are having a tremendous impact on the economy — creating new jobs and generating revenue.

Women-owned businesses generating revenue of more than $1 million increased nearly 50 percent over the past 11 years, as compared to 12 percent of all U.S. businesses, and the number of firms owned by minority women has grown nearly three times that of all women-owned firms. But even with the number ofv women-founded companies increasing at a faster pace than the national average, there’s still so much further to go to level the playing field.

Obstacles women entrepreneurs face

Compared to their male counterparts, women today are still half as likely to start a business. It’s clear there are a number of cultural and structural obstacles; barriers that make some women unable to even attempt the feat. Why are women business owners struggling to get access to the same opportunities as male entrepreneurs?

Access to start-up capital. Whether it’s a traditional bank loan or a venture capital round, women are at a big disadvantage when it comes to securing funds to start a business. Despite the fact that they own 30 percent of small businesses, women are securing only 4.4 percent of total dollars in small business loans, 16 percent of conventional loans and 17 percent of SBA-backed loans. And once a woman is approved, her loans are significantly smaller than the loans approved for men. On the venture capital side, women-owned businesses get only about 7 percent of total venture fund investments.

Fewer role models. A role model demonstrates a pattern of success and a reassurance that someone like you has achieved the kind of success you are aiming for. But while the number of women in the tech field is growing, but the biggest names tend to be male tech titans such as Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates.

Less mentorship. Studies have found that those with access to a mentor are five times more likely to be interested in starting a business than those without a mentor. Mentorship is also linked with business success, and owners who receive three-plus hours of counseling report higher revenues and employment growth rates. But nearly half of women entrepreneurs say that one of the top challenges they face is finding a mentor who can direct them to the resources and organizations who can help them launch their businesses. 

Add to this the more general social setbacks — the wage gap, disproportionate caregiving rates, and more, and it’s clear women are facing major barriers.

Triumphing against the odds

But despite the odds being stacked against them, women entrepreneurs are overwhelmingly successful. It’s an unequal playing field, but women are still reporting the same entrepreneurial success, expected revenue growth and business longevity as men. A significant growth factor is women of color. Since 2007, the number of female African-American business owners has increased 164 percent, while Latina women-owned businesses have grown by 87 percent since 2007.

It’s also increasingly clear that the ROI of investing in women-owned startups is large. A study found that women founders deliver more than 2 times as much per dollar invested than male-owned companies – and if VCs had invested equally in start-ups, they could have made an additional $85 million over five years.

And despite the crippling gap in funding women face, startups founded and cofounded by women actually perform better over time as well, with 10 percent more cumulative revenue generated in a five-year period.

Resources for woman entrepreneurs

There is still a tremendous amount of work to be done to increase the number of women entrepreneurs entering the field. To help tackle the challenge, companies like Dell are committed to directly breaking down the barriers women specifically face in bringing their innovative ideas to market and accelerating the increasingly powerful role that women play in driving global economic growth.

“Women share a unique approach to business — they are using innovative technology to reach customers and utilize data in unprecedented ways,” says Karen Quintos, Chief Customer Officer at Dell. “Women especially understand that it’s not the technology itself that is important, but what connections, solutions, and changes it enables you to make.”

Dell’s investment to help women succeed

Investing in women is not only a winning business strategy for Dell, it positively impacts the global economy. Women-owned businesses are significant drivers of job creation and economic growth. At Dell, women make a critical contribution in every aspect of the business – employees, leaders, customers, suppliers and partners. The company actively supports customers with improved access to capital, technology, networks and information – areas where women have historically been under-served.

In 2019, Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN) celebrated 10 years of empowering women entrepreneurs to grow their business through the power of technology, expansion of global networks and access to capital. By spotlighting female entrepreneurial success and creating a supportive atmosphere, DWEN helps a group of diverse women share best practices, build business opportunities through collaboration, explore international expansion and access new resources and technologies that support business growth.

With Dell for Entrepreneurs, business owners gain access to the end-to-end, scalable technology solutions that are particularly essential during the crucial early time in market, and grow along with a business.

Dell Financial Services can offer financing for startups that meet certain requirements to provide financial and scalable technology resources. Startups that meet the certain criterion, as approved by Dell Financial Services, can be approved for credit.

Dell also partners with global leaders, policymakers, and the public and private sectors to connect entrepreneurs with the talent, capital, markets, and technology they need to succeed, including:

  • Circular Board, a collaborative accelerator for growth-oriented female entrepreneurs who lead, or aspire to build, purpose-driven businesses with multi-million dollar revenues, by offering mentorship, content, community, capital, and connection to other resources.
  • Springboard Enterprises, which accelerates the growth of entrepreneurial companies led by women through access to essential resources and a global community of experts. In April of this year, DWEN together with Springboard Enterprises concluded a successful series of 17 Women Funding Women events across the world, to address the funding challenges women face.
  • WEConnect International, is a global non-profit that facilitates sustainable economic growth by increasing opportunities for women-owned businesses to succeed in global value chains.

To learn more about how Dell is helping women entrepreneurs break down barriers and level the playing field, how it can help your business succeed, and to explore special offers for entrepreneurs, visit DWEN.

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