The biggest challenge for women entrepreneurs in 2021



Being an entrepreneur is difficult. Making it big is even more difficult. And then if you are a woman, the odds are so high against you that it makes things even more difficult.

Despite the arduous roadmap to becoming your own boss, female entrepreneurship is on the rise in some countries.

Offering an overview of the levels of entrepreneurship in the world, the Veuve Clicquot “Global Barometer of Female Entrepreneurship 2021” surveyed thousands of people in 17 countries (Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States) between December 2020 and January 2021.

The study found that levels of female entrepreneurship increased only in Australia, Canada, Japan, South Africa, the UK and the US. Meanwhile, the gender gap has grown in the United States while simultaneously narrowing in Australia, Canada, Japan, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Globally, there are fewer women entrepreneurs than men. The largest gender gap between entrepreneurs is observed in the United States at 24 percent, followed by Russia at 18 percent, and the United Kingdom, Italy and Australia all registering a 13 percent deviation.

Nigeria has the lowest gender gap in entrepreneurship with a difference of just one percent, followed by Japan and Mexico with four percent.

Just as this did not prevent Madame Clicquot, 27, from taking the reins of Veuve Clicquot on the death of her husband in 1805 (at a time when women were not allowed to have their own bank accounts) Late, equality and different challenges aren’t preventing 21st century women from confidently stepping into boot shoes.

In fact, the study found that the main reason women want to become entrepreneurs is financial freedom.
“In most of the countries studied, women wantrepreneurs [someone who wants to be an entrepreneur] consider entrepreneurship primarily as a good way to earn more money, even if this is not the reality, ”says the study.

In 2021, 33% of Russian women think entrepreneurship is a good way to make more money.

Among those interviewed, entrepreneurs generally had higher incomes. In addition, entrepreneurs had higher incomes than the general population.

And it looks like it’s a game for young people. Entrepreneur levels are highest among those under 40, with some believing this to be due to their bold attitude and risk-taking. Nigeria is home to the largest number of young female entrepreneurs, accounting for 85 percent of female entrepreneurs compared to 81 percent of young male entrepreneurs.

One of the biggest challenges in attracting women to creating their own startups is the lack of role models, specifically female role models.

“Globally, the majority of women believe it is important for aspiring entrepreneurs to have a role model to follow,” the report says. “In all the countries surveyed, more women say they are inspired by female entrepreneurs than by male entrepreneurs.

“Yet few women can name a successful female entrepreneur.”

There is certainly no shortage of male opinion leaders – Bezos, Buffett, Gates, Musk, Jobs, Ma… but women?

In France, only 17% know the name of a successful female entrepreneur, compared to 31% of male entrepreneurs. In fact, it was Oprah Winfrey who was the most popular recognized businesswoman in the world.

“Mentorship is seen as increasingly essential among women,” the study says. “Globally, women believe strongly that mentors are essential to the success of women entrepreneurs. “

A whopping 91% of women surveyed in Nigeria and 88% in Hong Kong believe that in order to become an entrepreneur, it is important to have a role model to inspire you. Imagine the future of women entrepreneurs as more and more visionaries flourish, inspiring aspiring businesswomen along the way. But how does the world get to this point?

Veuve Clicquot found that the biggest obstacles preventing women from starting their own businesses are obtaining financing, balancing family life, fear of failure, behavior change and criticism. Remarkably, the study found that expectations of support were generally lower than the support received.

On the other hand, the study showed that women who embark on the path of entrepreneurship will disrupt their families; however, this is not the case for men, indicating that global equality still has a long way to go.

“Most women think female entrepreneurs have to work harder than their male counterparts to be successful, but fewer men agree,” the report says.

The biggest fear that prevents most women from pursuing their startup dreams is not wanting to disappoint their family with professional failure and not wanting to prove their skeptics right.

To allay doubts and achieve their career goals, many women see value in adopting more masculine leadership traits.

“Women believe that determination and self-confidence are the most important attributes for a successful female entrepreneur,” the study says. “About half of wantrepreneurs think they need to act more like men to be successful as entrepreneurs.”

More women than men think that female entrepreneurs are considered “too bossy”, with the exception of South Korea. In Japan, 68% of women entrepreneurs think they are considered authoritarian, compared to only 47% of men.

“Women increasingly believe that successful women entrepreneurs should possess attributes that are both power and strategy based,” the study said.

Pandemic entrepreneurs

women entrepreneurs

Overall, the once-in-a-century global healthcare battle hasn’t completely disrupted the creation of new businesses. Over the past year, more women than men have started a business in many of the countries surveyed.

The biggest concern of entrepreneurs after COVID-19 is the lack of funding available for female startups – 69% of women in France believe the pandemic will have an adverse impact. Incredibly, more than half of male entrepreneurs agree that financing is the number one concern of their female counterparts.

Although cautious, the women were motivated by the disruption of the pandemic, turning challenges into triumphs.

More than a quarter of women feel more inspired to start their own business now than they were in the days before COVID. Nigeria, South Africa and Japan show the highest levels of determination. In Mexico, 82% have become more environmentally friendly about business.

After the pandemic, there is an abundance of new opportunities to establish new businesses in Japan and Nigeria.

Why do people become entrepreneurs?

Money – Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Russia, United Kingdom and United States
Socially rewarding – Belgium, South Korea, Switzerland
Give meaning to your life – Japan, Nigeria, South Africa, Spain
Be your own boss – Hong Kong

Snapshot of women entrepreneurs around the world


Female entrepreneurship has more than doubled over the past year, while there has also been a 6% increase in the number of women starting a new business.

Despite this, the barriers to owning a small business have increased, with a 15 percent increase in women finding it more difficult to balance work and family life, the study found.


Women entrepreneurs have increased by 7% since Veuve Clicquot’s first barometer in 2019.

Interestingly, with so few female entrepreneurs in the world to be role models, Canadian women see fewer needs, with a 13% drop in women seeing the importance of role models.

South Africa

An 11% increase in women consider themselves entrepreneurs compared to previous years. In South Africa, women entrepreneurs are prevalent in the food and fashion industries, but remain under-represented in sectors such as technology.

Fewer and fewer women attribute their success to luck and increasingly take control of their professional destiny – a positive development perhaps due to their female-centric support networks.


Becoming an entrepreneur is an increasingly attractive avenue for French women, money being the main advantage, followed by being their own boss.

However, men are less aware of the unique challenges facing their counterparts. Compared to previous years, fewer male entrepreneurs think it is more difficult for women to start a startup.


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