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At least in Mexico Women feel lonely. In the past few weeks they have been marching to make ears where there were no eyes to see them: the country suffers from gender-based violence, which is directly proportional to the indifference of the authorities responsible for prosecuting these crimes.
However, the challenges of openness, equity and gender equality are not limited to security or Mexico. At the regional level Latin America has a significant deficit in female entrepreneurshipwith opportunities ranging from access to finance to changing the mindset of entire companies.
“In Latin America, for example, there are 1,300 fintech companies, one of the most developed industries in the world of startups. Only 33% of them have a co-founder, ”says Irene Arias on the other end of the line. Irene is CEO of BID Lab, the IDB Group’s innovation lab.
For Arias, there is a contradiction that is difficult to explain when you consider that only 29% of startups have achieved gender equality in the workforce, and on the other hand, it is known that in Latin America women control 64% of spending decisions in the homes .
On the flip side, the Female ship Index, a study by the US-based Global Institute of ship and Development, delivered news well known to the region: only two Latin American countries managed to get into the top 30 US competitiveness its female entrepreneurship, Chile (15) and Colombia (29).
Data is important. How many presidents do you remember at regional level? Perhaps I won’t find the 10 who have ruled the entire 40 year bloc so far as some of them have temporarily.
In reality, only three of the major Latin American economies come to mind: Michelle Bachelet (Chile 2006-2010 and 2014-2018); Dilma Rousseff (Brazil 2011-2016), who was dismissed from office, and the controversial Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (2007-2015).
The same exercise could be repeated with business leaders or entrepreneurs. Please try it.
In Latin America, according to a report by El País / Photo: Lara Natalia, only 1% of women entrepreneurs have access to investors via Unsplash
“Women are the biggest initiators of SMEs in the world, they achieve more university degrees, masters and doctorates than men. In most cases, however, they do not reach management positions: In Mexico, a recent study shows that only two out of ten CEOs are women, ”contrasts Silvia Moschini, director and founder of SheWorks, a platform that brings working women together with companies that match yours Meet time requirements, or with some flexibility they need.
Although women are great initiators of SMEs, at least in the region they hold a minimum of investment funds for entrepreneurship (around 0.4% according to the IDB Lab), which greatly upsets the balance.
“In reality, few women ask about capital, and we have to ask ourselves why that is. There are very good accelerators in our region that fund men’s and women’s projects, and many of them say, “We have a lot of challenges to find women,” says Moschini.
Therefore, the specialist suggests examining the topic from a more holistic perspective. It’s not that there is a very high rate of rejection for women, but few are asking for the support of investors.
“We have to work as an ecosystem so that more girls are encouraged, that more investors are ready to accompany them all the way, to encourage them to dare and anchor them,” suggests Moschini.
The experts list a few factors that need to be considered in order to promote female entrepreneurship among women, from a position where there is no better solution than starting with yourself.
1. Enhance other women. For Moschini there are very notable cases of women entrepreneurs on the continent, but not all try to promote other women. An exemplary case is that of Gina Díaz Barroso, who promoted entrepreneurship among women from different angles: professional advice and investment funds, for example.
“Reaching investment funds with partners helps a lot in breaking down barriers that we as initiators of a project are not familiar with,” says the expert.
2. The movie joy (Director: David O. Russell) reminds us of the life of an entrepreneur who starts trying to sell her innovative product on her own. However, this story should be viewed as the past. Following in their footsteps is anachronistic today.
Unfortunately, many of the women who have projects that can develop solutions to everyday problems are looking for little outside capital. Most turn to personal resources for family capital, which limits finances and growth, and can even affect their stability at this point in time.
3. Having male co-founders brings balance to projects: That way, you can access the best of both worlds and not face the challenge that comes with fighting windmills. “The different teams bring the greatest value and make it easier to raise capital. Different perspectives make companies richer and more efficient, ”says the director of Sheworks.
4. Once the challenge has been met To invest outside of the narrow circle, they shouldn’t be limited to mutual funds. You can go with angel investors, companies, alliances, competitions, etc.
5. The most important thing about promoting women ship issues are about eliminating personal insecurities that have grown over the long years of remarkable inequality between the sexes. Women, the experts say, should be the ones to take the initiative, present the projects and explore the possible outcomes.