The financial result of a business is far from the main measure of success for entrepreneurs. First of all, for the majority of women, it is important to realize their favorite work through business (66%), independence, the ability to benefit society (57%) and independently plan their lives (56%).
The average businesswoman is a married woman (79%) with a university degree (83%), with one (41%) or two children (43%) under the age of 15.
The peak of entrepreneurial activity falls on the age of 30-39: this group includes 68% of the women surveyed. Another 19 respondents are over 40 years old, 13% are 18-29 years old.
70% of those surveyed are exclusively engaged in entrepreneurship, 30% combine business with employment. By the way, the majority (83%) have their own business rather young – no more than five years. Interestingly, the percentage of those who combine the two types of employment varies (in particular, decreases) with the age of the business. So, among those whose business has existed for less than a year, 34% of respondents combine entrepreneurship and employment, 25% from 5 to 10 years, and 18% over 10 years.
The majority of women in the aggregate are registered as individual entrepreneurs (41%) or self-employed (22%). At the same time, about a third (28%) do not register at all, mainly due to low and irregular income (69%).
62% choose the service sector as their field of activity, 21% – manufacturing, 15% – trade and 2% – hotel and restaurant business.
At the beginning of their journey, 74% of mothers used personal savings. Loans were issued – 16%. They borrowed from friends and relatives – 12%. 11% did not make investments at all, received subsidies from the state – 9%.
In 55% of families of entrepreneurs, the main income is the husband’s income. Another 30% said that their income with their partner is comparable, and 10% make a greater contribution to the family budget than their partners.
Why go into business?
Exactly half of the respondents indicated the need to have more free time as a reason. However, few mothers-entrepreneurs (15%) can boast that starting their own business they have more free time, and 27% even complained that free time, on the contrary, has become even less. At the same time, 44% of the respondents said that despite the fact that there was no more time, there was an opportunity to distribute it in the way that suits them.
A third once had an interesting idea and had the opportunity to implement it. 31% of women from the total number of respondents strive for independence, and 31% want to receive a higher income than when working for hire. In 21% of cases, entrepreneurs also indicated a desire to express themselves in their answers.
It is noteworthy that the options varied depending on the age of the respondents. So, for the youngest survey participants (18-29 years old), a rather significant incentive to start a business was the desire to improve their social status. More often they spoke about their desire for independence (36%) and their special character (25%). For older women (40 years and older), the value of free time decreases slightly (41%), but the importance of financial benefits increases (35%). At the same time, the more children there are in the family, the more important it is for the mother to have more free time (growth from 46% to 56%), and the desire for independence and the prospect of getting more income fade into the background.
More than half of the women felt the support of their loved ones when they decided to start their own business. 21% of women did not share the enthusiasm, but did not interfere in the family either. Another 21% of women entrepreneurs faced both support and negativity. A negative reaction from households received 2%.
It is curious that those who consider their business to be successful are more among women who were supported by their family (58% of those who were fully supported).
“Any entrepreneur, both woman and man, needs family support. A woman entrepreneur is not about “proud and independent”, this is about real family values, where husband and wife are equal partners, always ready to support each other and lend their shoulders. “A woman’s place at the stove” is an outdated model, fortunately, the world is gradually moving towards the fact that women in business are the norm.
In total, 65% of women named their business successful. Almost half (48%) of women entrepreneurs take on most of the household chores. Slightly more than a third (36%) share household chores depending on the situation: the work is taken over by the partner who is less busy at the moment. In only 13% of families, responsibilities are evenly distributed between partners, and only 1% of interviewed entrepreneurs indicate that the main part of responsibilities is usually performed by a spouse / partner. Also, 1% of families delegate all household chores to special services.
The hardest part of developing your own business
First of all, 45% of women entrepreneurs face the problem of reaching stable profits. The second daunting task is advertising and promotion (41%). In third place is the problem of balance between work, personal life and childcare (29%). Moms who have their own business in the field of production are faced with this problem in 35% of cases.
Women over 40 find it harder to follow market trends and adapt to changing realities (15% versus 6% of entrepreneurs under 30). The youngest in the sample face the problem of registering a business (9% versus 2% aged 40+) and finding suppliers (13% versus 4%).
In the youngest business (less than 1 year), it is more difficult to find an idea for a business (10% versus 3% among business owners over 10 years) and develop a business plan (20% versus 5%). Further, in a business that has existed for 5-10 years, the problem of personnel selection is the most acute (35%).
“An important point in education is a narrow specialization. Young people have some projects, and mothers have completely different ones. The peculiarities of the lifestyle and regime also leave their mark. All this is important to understand and create separate tutorials for each category. Then the effectiveness of training will be higher.
Another important point that the state can provide is consulting. Young entrepreneurs simply need support centers where you can come or call and ask your questions about registration, certification and other aspects. To suggest where to go, in what time frame and so on.
What is success?
The financial result of a business is far from the main measure of success for entrepreneurs. First of all, for most women, it is important to realize their favorite work through business (66%). However, this changes with age (56% of the 40+ group). Next comes the criterion of benefit to society (57%), independence and the ability to independently plan their lives (56%).
Yet women entrepreneurs who are confident that they have achieved success are more likely to have income that is either higher than or comparable to their partner’s, while their less successful colleagues rely more on the income of their spouses.
Mothers-entrepreneurs who have managed to make business their main sphere of employment consider themselves to be more successful in business: their share in this group is 70%, while among women who combine their business with work for hire, their business could be successful. name only 52%.
Entrepreneurs who consider themselves successful in business are less likely to raise their children alone (55% versus 70% among businesswomen who cannot call their business successful). In their families, the more common approach is that both spouses (partners) spend the same amount of time with their children (18% versus 10%).
Business and coronavirus
A third of entrepreneurs were able to avoid the negative consequences of the coronavirus pandemic on business (26% continued their activities without losing efficiency, 7% were able to expand their business). Almost half (47%) of mothers running a business reported a loss of efficiency to one degree or another, and one in five business owners complained that they were unable to continue their activities during the pandemic. Young women entrepreneurs have made it easier to deal with the effects of the coronavirus crisis than their older counterparts.
24% of respondents faced a drop in revenue to zero, a drop in revenue by one and a half to two times – 20%, inability to pay rent – 19%, a sharp rise in the cost of raw materials and components due to an increase in the exchange rate – 19%.
33% of respondents took advantage of government support during the coronavirus pandemic – most often it was subsidies (16%) and lease deferrals (10%). Businesswomen who have their own business in the field of production were the least likely to apply for any kind of state support.