2020 Survey Results: The Struggle for Confidence and Economic Empowerment


Natalia Bonilla Social Media Graphics - 2020-01-14T153728.492

At the beginning of this year we launched a 2020 Female Social Entrepreneurship Survey.  Here are the results.

We opened a call last January to learn about how to best connect female social entrepreneurs making a positive impact around the world.

The survey appealed to a diverse group of 18 female founders, leaders, activists and startup CEOs between the ages of 26-35 years old (50%), 36-45 years old (27.8%), 18-25 years old (18%) and older than 45 years old (16.7%) from 10 countries: Belgium, Brazil, United States, United Kingdom, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Nigeria, Uganda, India and New Zealand.

Inspired by the freedom to help others, the desire to create solutions and the passion to become part of “the change we wish to see in the world”, the majority of participants believed themselves to be both: female entrepreneur and change makers.

However, they have experienced similar challenges on building a successful business in entrepreneurial ecosystems and social cultures with little or close to none support (90 % agreed) for women launching their own ventures among them:

  • Lack of collaboration
  • Lack of discipline, insecurities and fear
  • Lack of support
  • Lack of credibility and positioning
  • Difficulties balancing work and home life
  • Becoming an entrepreneur in a non-entrepreneurial culture
  • Breaking the gender stereotype, the plight of the people on the margin,gender based violence in the society
  • Inconsistency while trainings for economic development due to lack of support for child care and seed money for startups.
  • Being seen as powerful all the time
  • Isolation
  • Confusion on services and how to sell them

Shifting from an employee mindset to a CEO mindset has also posed internal and external obstacles to 77 % of the participants while acting and behaving like a “stereotypical female leader” was a challenge for 66 % of them.

When asked on what is mining their abundant and entrepreneurial mindset they listed:

  • Time
  • Be a powerfull woman all the time.
  • Risk is inherent and it’s about becoming strategic rather than avoidant
  • Lack of family support, and discrimination.
  • thinking in terms of goals and numbers
  • The difficulty of balancing work/home life
  • Investing money on the idea.
  • My background is in the non-profit sector and I still often think and act like someone in the non-profit sector
  • The lack of support and whether it is a viable idea.
  • part of being in the decision making body and the female voice to be heard in the decision making.
  • There are a lot of ways of making business, business can help people, there are challenges for women but no excuse for success.
  • Trying to become an entrepreneur in a non- entrepreneurial culture
  • Challenging cultural assumptions about what a female entrepreneur should be like or act like

In terms of leadership skills they had struggled developing the most 33 % agreed confidence and self worth and an other 26.7 % resourcefulness and finding business opportunities for growth.

This is #Day1 of the #90DayChallenge for our blog.
With Lumina’s #90DayChallenge we want to provide guidance on the following months in these areas with articles, essays and interviews on: female social entrepreneurship, women’s economic empowerment, travel and wellness.

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