The number of female entrepreneurs in Canada has grown more than three times faster than the number of male entrepreneurs since 1976, according to a study released Tuesday by BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada).
The study also said that 39 per cent of all entrepreneurs who started businesses in 2018 were women, and they make up about 28 per cent of all entrepreneurs, compared to 11 per cent in 1976.
The study on the number of female entrepreneurs was released on Women’s Entrepreneurship Day.
“Entrepreneurship is on the rise and women are driving most of that activity,” Laura Didyk, vice-president and National Lead Women Entrepreneurs for BDC, said in a statement. “Today we mark Women’s Entrepreneurship Day but every day at BDC, we walk the talk to ensure women have the resources they need to thrive and build successful businesses.”
The study also found that women entrepreneurs are less motivated by money. Two-thirds (64 per cent) are driven to be her own boss; More than half (59 per cent) do it to pursue their passion; and 30 per cent do it to make a positive contribution to society.
BDC said it’s widely known that women face different obstacles than men in starting and growing a business: less access to financing and capital, smaller networks, fewer mentors and unconscious bias is still prevalent.
“Research shows our economy is stronger when we have more women-owned and led businesses. According to a new Boston Consulting Group (BCG) analysis, if there were equal numbers of women and men entrepreneurs the GDP could rise by $5 trillion globally and $80 billion in Canada alone,” said the bank.
Over the past three years, BDC has doubled the number of number of female entrepreneurs it finances, and in 2018, the bank committed to lending $1.4 billion to women-led businesses by 2021. That same year, BDC almost tripled the size of its Women in Technology Venture Fund to $200 million, making it the world’s largest venture fund investing solely in women in tech, it said.
“Women here in Canada and around the globe are significantly under-represented and under-funded in technology and investment companies,” said Michelle Scarborough, Managing Partner, Women in Technology Venture Fund. “We are paving the way for more women to lead in technology and venture investment roles because diverse leadership teams are better for business.
“Already, we have invested in 25 amazing women-led companies and are creating a self-sustaining community to support these women across Canada.”
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