Most people in Germany still think of men when ‘entrepreneurs’ are mentioned. This is despite the fact that one in three companies is founded by a woman. However, many of these companies are sideline businesses (42.1%), reference: , as women tend to opt for more flexible, hybrid income models, e.g. by combining employment with a sideline business.
It is fairly uncommon for startups to be established by teams of women. These account for just under one in five startups in Germany (17.7% according to the (PDF, 6 MB).
There is a lot that women startup entrepreneurs can achieve: to be self-employed also means to put your own ideas into practice, be it for a more sustainable way of doing business or for more flexibility around working hours and places. More women entrepreneurs also mean more jobs and a boost to economic growth. A high level of diversity of business models and corporate cultures can also generate crucial competitive advantages.
Successful women entrepreneurs as role models
The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action wants to encourage women and girls to use their qualifications and skills to realise their own business ideas and to establish successful companies. One way of fostering this is to highlight the work of successful women entrepreneurs to turn them into positive role models.
Offering their services on an honorary basis, they encourage schoolgirls, trainees, students, graduates and other women interested in setting up their own companies and make them aware of the opportunities and challenges awaiting them. This gives the women and girls a realistic and highly personal insight into what daily life as an entrepreneur is really like. The women entrepreneurs show how entrepreneurship can be an attractive career option for women. The ‘FRAUEN unternehmen’ initiative also helps to make the work undertaken by female entrepreneurs more visible – presenting their success, their dedication, and their contribution to the future of Germany’s economy.
The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action provides women interested in entrepreneurship with tailored information on how to set up a new business. Women entrepreneurs can access information on more than 2,000 regional partners via the Economic Affairs Ministry’s and thus find networks, centres of women entrepreneurs and mentoring programmes.
In order to provide even more targeted support for prospective entrepreneurs and women and men interested in starting their own business, particularly during the planning stages, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action and KfW have set up a platform for entrepreneurs that is free to use and provides entrepreneurs with a digital toolkit covering all steps of the process of starting one’s own business.
It allows budding entrepreneurs to develop a first idea or business model, draft a business plan, enquire about funding and financing and contact the relevant institutions online. In addition, the platform hosts videos of successful entrepreneurs sharing their experience and giving useful advice. The platform’s network of partners currently consists of more than 600 key stakeholders from start-up funding. The platform has a special dedicated to women interested in starting their own business.