"I decided to become an entrepreneur because I wanted to make my own decisions and my own mistakes"
There is a different perception of success depending on whether you are a man or a woman. While society approve successful men, successful women are questioned
Female entrepreneurship represents only 4.7% of the entrepreneural activity in Spain and 6.3% in Europe. This shows that entrepreneurship, like many other sectors, is still far from gender equality.
This issue was discussed during the webinar "Female entrepreneurship", organised by the UPF Barcelona School of Management, with the presence of Susana Domingo, head of the strategy and entrepreneurship area and director of the Executive MBA of the UPF-BSM; Eli Abad, co-funding partner of the technology consultancy Between Technology; Talía Bonmatí, CEO and founder of the pet centric Dinbeat and Alumni of the Executive MBA; and Oriol Sans, director of the Funding Unit at Acció, the entrepreneurship agency of the Catalan Government.
Only 20% of the businesses are run by women and that perpetuates the lack of women in the sector
"Only 20% of businesses are run by women despite the fact that we represent more than half of the population", Domingo said. The director of the Executive MBA considered as well that this situation perpetuates the lack of women in the sector. But why is that?
According to Abad, there is a different perception of success depending on whether you are a man or a woman. "While society approve successful men, successful women are questioned". In light of this reality, "women tend to undervalue our achievements, something that stops us from promoting ourselves, becoming a role model and gaining investment", Abad told.
Gender perspective in investment
It is precisely in financing issues that some of the gender stereotypes that are also found in other economic sectors are perpetuated. "If I noticed that an investor did no take me seriously or gave mave paternalistic advices, I would attend the meetings with one of my male colleagues", Bonmatí admitted. This scorn was also experienced by the co-founder of Between Technology, who told how, faced with the indifference of some investors, she had to emphasies that it was she who made the decisions and not the man on her team.
According to Sans, many investors look kindlier on projects presented by women because «they are better at calibrating the risk»
While venture capital shows greater sensitivity to gender issues, although is still little, business angels still have a long way to go. In 2020, only the 10% of the business angels investors in Catalonia were women and if we take into account the gender bias that indicats that we invest in our peers, then most of the investments will go to male projects.
However, according to Sans, many investors look kindlier on projects presented by women because «they are better at calibrating the risk». "Men, on the other hand, jump in too quickly and often get stuck", he said ironically.
In fact, the director of the Funding Unit at Acció explained that the "prudence" of some women leads them to ask for less funding than men and this upsets some investors as they see the possibilities of multiplying the money invested as reduced.
The entrepreneurial experience
Despite the many difficulties that women face in such a young sector as entrepreneurship, the two panellists are pleased to have made the decision to become entrepreneurs. "I was never afraid to initiate projects an that is because of the education I received and the environment in which I grew up", said the CEO of Dinbeat. An idea that Abad has reinforced by insisting on the need to "encourage girls and remind them that they can achieve whatever they want".
Asked about her assessment of entrepreneurship, Abad was crystal clear: "I decided to become an entrepreneur because I wanted to make my own decisions and my own mistakes".