International Women’s Entrepreneurship Day: How is female entrepreneurship gaining strength?
27 de November de 2020
27 de November de 2020
On 19th November, the world celebrates International Women’s Entrepreneurship Day and, to mark this important date for female empowerment, EAE Business School organized a very special online event with the participation of the most important female entrepreneurs and innovation leaders in the whole of Spain.
For over an hour of interesting discussion on issues such as the impact of the digital gap on female entrepreneurship and investment, a number of experts shared their experiences and analysed the key factors in understanding the present and future of female entrepreneurship.
The participants included Teresa María Alarcos, Sylvie Lemaire, Marlen Estévez Sanz, María José Blanco Gutiérrez and Jesús Alonso Gallo. The event was chaired by Carmen Pumariño and Rocío Álvarez-Ossorio, and also welcomed the participation of entrepreneurs such as Helena Torras and Blanca Garelly..
“We want to reduce the digital gap through technology”.
The digital gap was put forward as one of the key issues and was one of the points analysed most in depth by the speakers. The fact is that, while women have made a lot of progress in several sectors in society, there is still a big gap in everything related to the digital sphere and entrepreneurship.
“We want to reduce the digital gap through technology”, emphasized Teresa Alarcos, the Founder of the Women Startup Community. “The idea of collaborating is always at the forefront, so we have to ask questions, request help and stop worrying about bothering people, because just a few words can be decisive for your project”, she added.
Jesús Alonso Gallo then referred to his own research in which he concluded that companies with women on the executive committees sell 42%. Moreover, they make 53% more profit and even their ROI is higher. “The more diverse the board of directors is, the better the strategies and results are”.
“One of the factors that define us is that, as well as accompaniment, we offer human support”.
Investment is one of the most complex issues when discussing entrepreneurship and even more so in the case of entrepreneurial women. Among other reasons, this is because there are still “biases from the past” that slow down and complicate the process of finding financing for women who decide to turn their business dreams into reality.
“Not only is the bias wrong, but it generates bad results for everybody”, emphasized Jesús Alonso. “When teams are mixed, the results are always better”. For this reason, the main objective of many of the companies headed by the speakers is to offer economic guidance. Barcelona Activa, for instance, founded by María José Blanco, runs programs to boost the professional growth of women, including everything from mentoring to digitization.
“One of the factors that define us is that, as well as accompaniment, we offer human support”, explained Blanco. The company has been running for over 30 years and has built a solid base of partners who have made Barcelona Activa one of the leading platforms in Spain for promoting entrepreneurial women.
“Female entrepreneurs can feel very lonely, so it is important to build a community”.
Managing and founding new projects were other key issues requiring special attention. The speakers highlighted the fact that, in Spain, while female entrepreneurship is increasingly gaining strength, we still need to reinforce aspects related to managing and founding startups or other companies.
There was a general consensus that collaboration and camaraderie are the best tools for empowering female entrepreneurship, thereby contributing towards an ecosystem in which woman can all help each other and grow. “Female entrepreneurs can feel very lonely, so it is important to build a community”, explained Teresa María Alarcos”.
Sylvie Lemaire, the Co-Founder of WA4STEAM, explained that her company has 3 key objectives: 1) Increasing the number of entrepreneurial women. 2) Creating a more conducive environment for financing female entrepreneurs. 3) Boosting the presence of entrepreneurial women in STEM sectors. To achieve these goals, as well as providing seed capital, they also accompany and advise women, becoming a strategic partner that promotes the creation of future female leaders.
Over the course of an hour of interesting and passionate discussion about female entrepreneurship, all the speakers, with the help of the audience, generated a really constructive event for any women who want entrepreneurship to be a part of their lives.
“Women in general always feel that they are not prepared enough”, explained Jesús Alonso, “so I encourage them to become entrepreneurs, build their own dreams and never let anyone tell them what to do with their lives, because only women can build their lives”.