Based on a survey result jointly conducted by Gusto and US-based National Association of Women Business Owners, about 40% of female entrepreneurs started business as a direct result of the pandemic.
In this article, we highlight some of the challenges faced by these new female entrepreneurs that drove them to take charge:
Nearly half of (47%) of the business started by women are the minority races. Minority women are more than twice as likely (35% vs 17% for others) to start a new business due to financial reasons
More than half (51%) of the women who started their businesses in 2020 are either the sole breadwinner or the primary source of household income
14% of those interviewed had to start their own business as they were retrenched
Despite the growth in women entrepreneurship as a result of the pandemic, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), women entrepreneurs face lack of support globally, partly because they face greater difficulty in raising funds. With respect to Southeast Asia, the International Finance Corp (IFC) used e-commerce as an example and noted that widespread differences between men and women in digital and financial inclusion continued to hold back women entrepreneurs.
In conclusion, a consequence of the pandemic is the growth of women entrepreneurs to cope with the financial hardship. However, these women entrepreneurs faced greater difficulty (for example, raising funds) as compared to their male counterparts partly due to cultural and social norms. While government policies can be formulated to help support women entrepreneurs, the financial sector can also play a greater part in recognizing women entrepreneurs can do as well as their male counterparts and equally deserve the opportunity to receive adequate funding for their fledging business.