New International Survey Spotlights Funding Gap and Gender Differences in Approach to Entrepreneurship

Oakland, Calif. & Melbourne
8 Mar 2017
Men start entrepreneurial ventures younger, raise substantially more funding and more highly value “patience” over networking compared to their female startup counterparts. These are just a few of the findings revealed in a recent international survey of entrepreneurs around the world by online graphic design marketplace 99designs. The survey, which polled more than 1,700 entrepreneurs from the US, Europe and Australia, identified several ways men and women approach entrepreneurship differently. A few of the most notable gender-based findings in the 99designs survey include: Men were 2x more likely to have raised $100K+ in funding.

Of the male respondents surveyed, 12% of them had secured $100,000 or more in funding compared to only 6% of women, which highlights that potential obstacles still exist for women entrepreneurs. In the US specifically, the pattern is the same, with 12% of men raising more than $100,000 compared to just 5% of female entrepreneurs. Men start their entrepreneurial ventures younger than women.

While 18% of male respondents started businesses between the ages of 18-25, only 12% of women got their start this young. And of those entrepreneurs who began ventures at 35 years or older, 43% of women fell into this category compared to just 35% of men. Men tend to work more hours a day on their venture while women (still) spend more time with family.

Internationally, it seems that traditional family roles and childcare affect the amount of time entrepreneurs dedicate to a venture, with nearly a fifth (19%) of women entrepreneurs spending over five hours a day with their family vs. 13% of men. The number of hours worked demonstrates the opposite trend, with 13% of men working over 12 hours per day vs. 7% of women. However, among US respondents, these numbers were slightly closer – with approximately 19% of women reporting they spend 5+ hours with family vs. 17% of men. And of those spending 8-12 hours a day on a business venture, women and men varied by 13% (56% of US men vs. 43% of US women). Men say they are more likely to read books to improve their skills, while women are more likely to take a course.

18% of male respondents said they prefer to build their skills via books, versus only 13% of women. It seems that more structured learning is the method of choice for women, with 14% of them favoring courses and seminars to men (9%). Women value “networking” more highly than men as the most important skill for an entrepreneur, while men value “patience” more than women entrepreneurs.

Nearly a quarter (23%) of the women respondents listed networking as the most important skill when starting a business, compared with 19% of men. And patience was a more valued trait for men, with 18% of male respondents saying they thought patience was key versus only 12% of women.
About 99designs
99designs is the world’s largest on-demand design marketplace, connecting a global community of freelance designers with businesses of all sizes to complete their design needs. Created by designers for designers, 99designs began with a group of designers who were competing together to create the best designs. In 2008, that friendly competition grew into a design marketplace that has now become the world leader in online graphic design. 99designs is changing the lives of designers around the world by providing them with an opportunity to access customers globally, to earn income, and to build their portfolios. 99designs has operations in Oakland, Calif., Melbourne and Berlin.