Social entrepreneurship is defined as the practice of starting and running businesses aimed at solving social problems. According to the World Economic Forum, social entrepreneurship is one of the “seven pillars” of innovation and growth that will drive global competitiveness in the future. Today’s leaders must be adept at harnessing the power of technology to enable social innovation and drive social change around the world. There are a multitude of reasons why women take the lead in social entrepreneurship.
Drivers of Social Change
Women are the primary drivers of social change around the world. They account for nearly half of the workforce and 60% of the consumer spending in the industrialised world today. Women are leading some of the largest and most innovative social businesses in the world today. According to a study conducted by McKinsey & Company, there are over 5 million women-owned firms in the United States alone, generating almost $1.6 trillion in revenue annually. These numbers are steadily increasing as more women are attracted to the idea of pursuing independent careers. A 2013 study by the BNP Paribas Foundation showed that the number of female entrepreneurs worldwide has tripled in the last 20 years, while the percentage of female managers has risen from 29% to 40%. The power and potential of female entrepreneurs are being recognised around the world, as an increasing number of successful women-led social businesses are attracting significant investments from major companies and investors.
The Results Speak for Themselves
As businesswomen and role models, women are a driving force for change and positive transformation in the world. They inspire and empower other women to achieve their goals and ambitions and live their dreams. Research shows a strong correlation between women with an entrepreneurial mindset and business performance. In fact, they are five times more likely than men to create start-ups that achieve significant growth. In other words, the women behind today’s most successful social businesses are visionaries who transform societal problems into opportunities for innovative solutions and positive change. Women’s leadership and values are instrumental in building strong and effective teams and nurturing a culture of collaboration and innovation. The rise of social entrepreneurship is an exciting new trend that is transforming the way business and society interact.
Breaking New Ground
The inherent traits of women like empathy, compassion, understanding, creativity, and collaboration make them ideal candidates for leadership roles and social innovation. By challenging conventional thinking and encouraging experimentation, social entrepreneurs are breaking new ground and driving change on a global level. Here are three examples of ground-breaking social businesses that were created by trailblazing women leaders:
One Acre Fund was founded in 2006 by Kristy Milland and her husband Matt Edlund to address the urgent need of improving food security and empowering farmers in Kenya and Rwanda. Since its inception, the organization has impacted the lives of more than 600,000 people by providing sustainable farming methods and training to smallholder farmers in some of the most remote communities in Africa. In 2018, One Acre Fund was named the #1 Fastest Growing Social Business in the United States by Forbes Magazine.
Girl Effect is a global movement for girls’ empowerment founded by Marieme Jamme & Laura Kabeer in 2007 to help adolescent girls tackle some of the biggest issues facing their communities — poverty, gender inequality, lack of education, child marriage, early pregnancy, and sexual exploitation. Girl Effect has catalysed a movement of more than 50 partner organizations, including Facebook, Google, Nike, Unilever, and more, committed to supporting programs that help girls reach their full potential around the world. The organization has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades for its work, including a Special Recognition Award from the UN General Assembly and a Guinness Record-breaking campaign to raise awareness about the “Girl Effect”.
Sweet Dreams Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Megan Heyn in 2013 with the goal of ending childhood bullying and reducing mental health disorders worldwide. Through its popular anti-bullying videos on social media and its National Bully Free Week initiative, Sweet Dreams has helped nearly 2 million children learn how to stand up for themselves against bullies and make positive choices in their lives. The organization’s founder, Heyn, was recently named one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30” Social Entrepreneurs of the Year for its commitment to reducing bullying and empowering children to make healthy choices.
Soft Skills Get Women Across the Line
Soft skills can be defined as “the personal qualities that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people.” These skills can be the difference between landing your dream job and not receiving a single interview offer. They can help you excel in your career and achieve your life goals. That’s why you should invest some time into developing them! Women are more naturally adept at learning and utilising soft skills than men are, and this is one of the reasons that female leaders often outperform their male counterparts in the social enterprise sector.
Communication skills are arguably the most fundamental of soft skills. They allow you to connect with other people in a meaningful way and share your ideas with them. Good communication skills are essential for negotiating, collaborating, and managing projects effectively. They also play a critical role in your business success. Effective communication is essential not only for maintaining positive relationships with your investors, employees, and suppliers, but also for building trust and loyalty among your customers.
How we Can Help
Equitymatch’s team of advisors and mentors will help you navigate the challenging world of business and fundraising by giving you one-on-one advice, helping you develop your business and financial strategy, and providing guidance on all of your important financial decisions. We understand the unique challenges that female entrepreneurs face in today’s market and we want to help you succeed! Contact us today and get in touch to find out how we can help you get started on your path to success!