Today the world celebrates Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. In a year like this, perhaps the hardest and strangest of our lives, you have to wonder if this is the appropriate time to launch your own business. And discover the paradox that, in spite of the high uncertainty and the impact the pandemic has had on the business world, this has not stopped entrepreneurial activity. According to the VII Entrepreneurship Map presented by South Summit last September, 63% of male and female entrepreneurs have returned to entrepreneurship during the Covid-19 crisis, with finance, health and education being the three main sectors.
A crisis always has a negative connotation, but despite the cliché, it also holds true that crises always present opportunities for those who can spot them and adapt quickly. This view was also expressed by Andrea Barber, co-founder and CEO of RatedPower in an interview published today on the Good New Energy blog. Andrea’s start-up offers a web application for solar plants to be designed instantly, and she has been selected by Forbes magazine as one of the most creative Spanish women of 2020.
As I’ve said on other occasions, there are female entrepreneurs, there are female managers. There is simply a lack of visibility and role models to further promote the participation of women in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The VII Entrepreneurship Map shows that the number of female entrepreneurs has remained stable over the last six years, with under 20% of start-ups being created by women. On a more positive note: if in the past women were working as entrepreneurs in sectors traditionally considered more feminine, such as fashion or social impact, in 2020 there has been a shift in entrepreneurial activity, with women working mainly in finance and technology. This is particularly important, as one of the reasons why there are not more female entrepreneurs is the link between entrepreneurship and the so-called STEM degrees, that is, studying technology or science.
This was one of the many topics discussed this morning at the Enagás event we held remotely this year, with guests including Andrea Barber and three other female entrepreneurs who represent role models for other women, and for all of us: Laura Urquizu, who was a start-up investor and today heads up her very own, Red Points. She was elected Best Female Start-up Manager by the AED in 2019. Lucía Chávarri, a telecommunications engineer, currently Vice President of New Business at Cabify and former founding partner of Muapp, “an app created by women for meeting people”. And Ana Aladid, an Enagás’ professional awarded in our entrepreneurship competition Ingenia for her innovative project Biochemigas, which generates the odorant that is applied to natural gas from biomass.
All four have shared their stories and experiences as professionals and female entrepreneurs and have been an example from which we can all learn, especially in this current context of a health, economic and social crisis where innovation, agility and collaboration are of vital importance and where entrepreneurship and new ideas have a key role to play in the economic recovery.