White Collar

Female entrepreneurs have ‘no glass ceiling’ in their own business, and they earn more than men, report shows

A report by French bank BNP Paribas shows that companies started by women tend to have higher revenue

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 November, 2015, 1:49pm
UPDATED : Monday, 30 November, 2015, 4:03pm

New research is beginning to cast light on the success rates of men and women when it comes to entrepreneurship and the results are surprising.

On the whole, companies started and led by female entrepreneurs tend to out earn those founded by men. The results have been published in the second annual “Global Entrepreneur Report” conducted by French lender BNP Paribas.

Worldwide, male entrepreneurs count for around 66 per cent of new companies, or nearly double the 34 per cent share led by women.

However, the turnover of companies started by women was higher, at an average US$7.1 million, or about 13 per cent more than the average of those managed by male entrepreneurs.

Companies founded and led by women collectively had turnover of US$5.96 billion, according to the study, which surveyed 2,594 entrepreneurs in 17 markets,across the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Meanwhile, 61 per cent of these female entrepreneurs expect their businesses profits to increase in the next 12 months.

Their decision to pursue an entrepreneurial destiny was in large part because through running their own business they could write their own rules
BNP Paribas

It appears women can compete more equally with men in terms of running their business than in the corporate world. In Hong Kong women make up only 10 per cent of the directorships of listed companies. In western economies, women typically make up between 17 to 40 per cent of these roles, which shows that there is still a glass ceiling for women in the corporate world.

The BNP research indicates that Poland, Spain and China are the three markets with the highest level of activity among successful female business entrepreneurs.

However, the results are less consistent among Greater China, as Taiwan ranks alongside the Netherlands and Turkey as markets with the lowest relative level of female entrepreneurship activity.

“Crucially, female entrepreneurs consistently remark that their decision to pursue an entrepreneurial destiny was in large part because through running their own business they could write their own rules and take more direct control in their ability to achieve their potential,” the BNP Paribas report said.

The study quoted word one contributor as saying the reasons for going independent were: “no glass ceiling as an entrepreneur.”

Globally, women are taking up an increasing share of entrepreneurial roles. Much of the push is being led by millennials, or those born 1980 to 1995, who make up 37 per cent of female entrepreneurs.

The most popular industries for women entrepreneurs were retail, professional services consulting, accounting and law. Other popular sectors included fashion, ecommerce, travel, hospitality and leisure, and social media.