Hey friends! I’m new here, and for my first contributing post to Girl CEO, I wanted to write about one of the many things that’snear and dear to my heart – female founders and #startuplife. There was a recent study published by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Mass Challenge, a network of startup accelerators, who found that while women received far less funding compared to the average male founder, they actually produced double the amount of revenue. (I mean, are we surprised?) I’m going to take you on a quick trip into the numbers and dive into some theories on why this might be the case.
BCG researchers investigated the 1,500 businesses MassChallenge has backed since its founding in 2010, seeking to understand how companies founded by women differ from those founded by men, and of the MassChallenge-backed startups—which have raised more than $3 billion in funding and generated more than $2 billion in revenue—42% have at least one female founder. The data was pretty clear in that companies founded or cofounded by women garnered an average $935,000 in VC investments, which is less than half the average $2.1 million invested in companies founded by male entrepreneurs. So, that’s the unsurprising part, and the topic of sexism among female founders and investors is not new, unfortunately. However, what I loved about this study was the light it shined on female tenacity, resilience, adaptation and creativity – and that my friends, is worth sharing and celebrating.
According to the analysis, startups founded or cofounded by women performed better than male-founded startups over time. Despite being comparatively underfunded—and by a large margin—these businesses generated 10% more in cumulative revenue over a five-year period: $730,000, compared with $662,000 for the average male-led startup. Here is a direct quote from the research:
“In terms of how effectively companies turn a dollar of investment into a dollar of revenue, startups founded and cofounded by women are significantly better financial investments,” BCG concluded in its report on the study. “For every dollar of funding, these startups generated 78 cents, while male-founded startups generated less than half that—just 31 cents.”
Some theories why women-founded businesses perform better over time
The answer to this question was, “Well, they’re founded by women.” And I thought that was awesome. But in all seriousness, here’s what it said:
I love this quote, “since entering the workplace, women have defied expectations, often outperforming men by capitalizing on adaptations they’ve made in even the most toxic industries.” (hell yes!) What’s more, having been excluded from the internal networks, successful women often found strength in their external networks, an interesting and unsurprising homage to the power of a female-driven leadership community. Whether we’re illustrating female tenacity, resilience and adaptation within the VC investor community or other industry verticals, there’s no doubt to what female founders can achieve when they are motivated to succeed and make a difference.
Cheers to that my friends, and we also can’t forget to give a high five to the many male-driven companies and organizations that are supporting female entrepreneurship and helping to reimagine what founder diversity looks like!
Until next time,