Are female entrepreneurs any different from their male counterparts? The surprising answer is, yes! But it may not be in the way you think.
This has been a hot topic lately in the start-up world. According to a report by The Kauffman Foundation, male and female entrepreneurs usually have equal levels of education and agree on the top challenges facing an entrepreneur. But that may be where the similarities end. The report also shows that female entrepreneurs are more protective of IP and more interested in mentoring. The latter point about mentoring is confirmed by business coach Jen Dalitz in an article that appeared in The Sydney Times. Dalitz indicates that women are more accepting of advice given to them and make decisions in a more collaborative manner. Those skills and a more conservative approach to major decisions may be the main factors contributing to a higher success rate among female entrepreneurs, compared to their male counterparts.
Success is, admittedly, dependent on your perspective or definition of success. That said, here’s our definition: female-lead start-ups have a lower failure rate than male-lead start-ups. Boom! Women launch half of all start-ups in America and fail less frequently than men. That sounds like success from where we’re sitting. While #Facebook, #Twitter, #CodeAcademy and the overwhelming majority of the start-ups that have become household names in the last few years have been started by men, that doesn’t mean that female led start-ups haven’t achieved success. In fact, #Eventbrite is fast becoming a household name and was co-founded by a woman. The same success is being enjoyed by many other tech and non-tech industry female entrepreneurs, including Stephanie Morgan (pictured here), one of the owners of the food truck #Seabirds that was featured on TV’s “The Great Food Truck Race. So while men may be from Mars and women from Venus, they both seem to be enjoying success in the start-up world.
The next question is, how do female entrepreneurs compare with their corporate counterparts? We’ve all been taught for at least 30 years that men and women are equal in the workplace. But, according to a recent report by theFIT, that’s no longer true. The report indicates that women more frequently work long hours at the office than men, are less likely to call in “sick”, and are more frequently willing to do some work on vacation. Those are astounding results and hint at a bright future for women in the workplace. In addition, the editors of Women 2.0 told us in our research for this article that reports show a team comprised of both male and female founders drives higher ROI than single sex teams. So gentlemen, if you get the opportunity, we strongly suggest adding a female co-founder or employee to your team if you haven’t already done so, and vice-versa for female-led teams. Unfortunately, the theFIT’s report doesn’t breakdown its results by corporate employees vs. entrepreneurs and we won’t read into the data too much, but we assume all entrepreneurs of both genders are working at least as hard, and in most cases harder, than their corporate counterparts.