«Women are the future of man,» they like to repeat. Why speak of our «sisters» in the tone of a hypothetical future when they are so forcefully our presence. The new decade must be marked by the emergence of women leaders. In the case of Europe, you have very few women business leaders. According to a ranking published by the Maddyness, almost a third of the companies that raised funds in France were managed by women. These facts are therefore completely out of step with the reality of entrepreneurship in France. Indeed, according to an INSEE study in 2019: nearly 40% of entrepreneurs are women. From the side of this institute, there is a strong desire for emancipation through the economy. But female entrepreneurship has different characteristics compared to their male counterparts. According to a recent study conducted by INSEE: women entrepreneurship in sectors more related to the human, particularly in the social, personal services (50%) or education (30%) while men are more focused on industry, construction, technology or consumption.
Women must gain self-confidence
At the Deme Agency, we focus our fight on two axes. The first is to encourage young women to become entrepreneurs and to change the way they look at themselves. Why would a woman be a less tech-savvy entrepreneur? These are stereotypes that were not based on anything tangible. That is why we need to step up our efforts to change the image we have of women entrepreneurs. Why do some investors ask questions about women's ability to reconcile their personal life with the professional side (maternity, responsibility, as a leader)? These are questions that are not worthy of our times. It is also one of the reasons that motivated us to set up our Women Of Willings (WOW) Forum event scheduled for March 7 in Paris.
This event is the result of an observation shared by the majority of economists. According to a study by the Global Mentorship Monitor, 274 million women have started their own business in 74 countries out of 188 where the World Bank is present. They are even the driving force behind certain companies, particularly in Africa where it is known that women are the greatest creators of wealth. We see them in the markets, they prepare their goods, sell and even organize agoras to influence passers-by on their political votes. In Togo, the main source of the national economy is in place with wax cloth. And it is women who have been running this business since the 1970s, with sales exceeding the $2 million mark.
This is the case in many African countries. And yet, with the exception of Rwanda, they are under-represented in the parliamentary bodies of the countries with a rate barely exceeding the 20% mark and in entrepreneurship, inequalities are just as blatant between women and men. Indeed, women entrepreneurs face many obstacles that I call the 3Cs rule:
1- Capacity: state of mind, fear of failure, feeling of illegitimacy
2- Self-confidence: doubt, permanent devaluation
3- Human and financial capital: access to financing, calling on your professional network
Despite the challenges and barriers, good news emerges from this observation. Change cannot be political. These blockages are human and it is together that we can overcome them for the greater good of humanity in the 21st century.
CEO & Founder DEME Agency
Founder Women Of Willings