Women's entrepreneurship world tour: Berlin (5/5)
What is it like to be a woman entrepreneur in Berlin? On International Women’s Rights Day, we asked the same questions to five of our overseas economic and trade attachés. A little overview and inspiration in Lebanon, USA, Germany, Uruguay and Vietnam!
Female entrepreneurship is developing at varying rates around the world, though it still faces obstacles from the way patriarchal societies are run. But the tide is slowly turning. Throughout the world, public and private initiatives are offering support and financial aid to female entrepreneurial networks.
What does it mean to be a female entrepreneur in Germany?
While Germany does have a female chancellor and other high-level female politicians, its economy and society remain relatively conservative.
The education and tax systems are built around the principle that it’s the man who secures the family income, while the woman looks after the children. The share of women in large company boards of directors was only 14.6 % in 2019.
The German start-up scene is therefore male dominated, with only 15.7% of companies being founded by women.”
Striking a balance between family and career is still an enormous challenge for German women – the term “Doppelbelastung”stems from the fact thata child’s education is still considered the responsibility of the mother. This is a major barrier to entrepreneurship for women in Germany.
The current nursery system does not allow women with children to work full time.
Progress: Small loans & networking
Female entrepreneurs are increasingly motivated by sustainability and social entrepreneurship. That’s why female-led companies tend to offer personalised services in the education and health sectors, or in the combination of work and leisure (e.g. needlework, sewing, etc.).
As Germany is a country of federations, there are many different clusters and associations that support female entrepreneurship in each federated entity:
- Startseite | Gründerinnenportal:a female entrepreneurship portal at the Federal Ministry. Each federated state runs its own initiatives and female entrepreneurial networks have been set up throughout the country.
- Mikrokreditfonds Deutschland:a federal system of small loans aimed at supporting micro companies with no access to traditional financing (new and small companies, women, creative freelancers, young immigrants, etc.).
- Mikromezzaninfonds:provides silent partnership investments of up to €50,000 for SMEs and new companies. Investment targets: innovative companies, female entrepreneurship, companies owned by immigrants or the unemployed.
Virtual Business Days
Want to export your products or services to Europe? Since current conditions don’t yet allow for face-to-face meetings this year, hub.brussels and its regional AWEX and FIT partners have organised Virtual Business Days Europe, taking place on 16th and 17th March. For two days, our Economic and Commercial Attachés (AECs) posted in major European cities will meet with you virtually to present the advantages of their markets. Choose your market!