Women entrepreneurs have less appetite for risk than their male colleagues – but earn more money.
In a global study of wealthy women in business, the result show women are less likely to start a business, but those that work for themselves have incomes an average 14% higher than male entrepreneurs.
Although women entrepreneurs took home an average £382,000, women in business who did not work for themselves lagged men in the pay league, with average incomes of around 80% of their male counterparts.
The report ‘Unlocking the Female Economy: The Path to Entrepreneurial Success’ published by Ledbury Research, revealed that less women start business than men in every country except Ghana.
In many places, the gender gap for entrepreneurs widened.
Women entrepreneurs in South Korea started just a fifth of businesses, while in the United States, the level was more than a third (35%), but plunged to just 10% in the technology top heavy Silicon Valley.
The report argues that more women entrepreneurs should be encouraged to start businesses across the world.
“The important issue here is not empowering women or diversity,” says the report. “The problems are economic because women are a valuable resource and most countries are simply failing to take advantage of what they can offer in the world of business.”
However, the authors suggest this may never change because women place less emphasis on financial results than men.
The report also reveals their attitude to risk is less tolerant than that of a man.
Call for more help for women
Although 60% of men confessed previous failures spurred them on to success, only half of women said the same. The split was roughly the same when men and women entrepreneurs were asked their thoughts about opportunities arising out of volatility in world markets.
Nevertheless, many men and women started from the same financial base, raising money from selling property, inheritance or investments. However, men received bigger bonus payments and were almost twice as likely to have benefitted from selling a business.
The report recommends governments should put more effort into helping women start in business, especially as women are less likely to make a winning business pitch and are not well represented among venture capitalists.