Women in Business: The challenges of being a female entrepreneur

Today, no industry is beyond the reach of women.

18 November 2022 Friday 04:37
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Women in Business: The challenges of being a female entrepreneur

Today, no industry is beyond the reach of women. They, as entrepreneurs, increasingly rule the corporate world, breaking into industries formerly dominated by men.

However, although Spain is above the European average in terms of female entrepreneurship, the profile of entrepreneurs in the technology sector is still predominantly male.

According to the GEM (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor) Spain 2021-2022 report, in the last year there has been an increase in women involved in entrepreneurial initiatives that are less than three and a half years old (5.6%), a percentage increase higher than the of men (5.4%), and it increases in all phases of the entrepreneurial process, although the percentage of women in projects with a higher technological level is still much lower.

The TecnoCampus business park is a unique space that offers support programs for entrepreneurship, internationalization, innovation and the search for financing. In it, there are different companies led by women such as Inbox Publicitat, Eignapharma or Datali Group.

Although the numbers are favourable, the figures only provide a partial picture of reality. Businesses led by women remain in the minority, and the obstacles faced by women entrepreneurs are numerous and often very different from those faced by men. Among them, business meetings, meetings and maternity stand out.

Inbox Publicitat is a marketing consultancy with the mission of helping and accompanying small and medium-sized companies in the definition and implementation of commercial, strategic and marketing campaigns in order to target their clients and position themselves in the market.

“I founded Inbox Publicitat in 2012, in the middle of the crisis and starting from the capitalization of my unemployment, a situation I was in at that time due to the layoffs that were made in the advertising sector” explains its founder Dolors Guillen. “From the beginning we have focused on 3 large areas: managing marketing strategies (especially digital marketing), mentoring and training companies”, she adds.

"As far as the sector is concerned, I have not felt difficulties due to gender issues, since advertising is very balanced and even women occupy a higher percentage of positions," explains Guillen. “However, when you start a business and when you manage a business it is different,” she adds. “In most business and entrepreneurial meetings it is more common to find many more men than women and in certain circles it is even difficult to function properly, when faced with questions such as: Where is your boss? Has your boss let you come alone to this event?, or slightly violent situations such as the invasion of personal space when you are a woman”, concludes Guillen.

Eignapharma is a company that operates in the pharmaceutical sector and is dedicated to providing services to pharmaceutical companies, especially qualified and with experience in providing Business Development, Pharmacovigilance, Regulatory Services and GxP Compliance services.

"In general, I have not had problems due to gender issues in terms of professional development, although it is true that combining the first stage of motherhood with positions of responsibility was not easy," explains CEO Àngels Carrió. "Anyway, I think this issue will only be resolved when mandatory paternity leave is implemented and for the same duration as maternity leave," she adds.

Datali Group is an accounting, financial and tax agency that specializes in Amazon, marketplaces, e-commerce and other digital businesses. The company was born at the beginning of 2021 at the initiative of the entrepreneur Carla Carrasco, who through her own experience detected the tax advice needs of sellers who operate in the digital market.

"Over time we have been able to find out that the main problem that online sellers have is the difficulty in understanding the data they need to keep their finances up to date," explains Carrasco. “The complexity of marketplaces sometimes leads to wrong data extraction,” he adds. "This point is fundamental, since, if the correct data is not processed, the accounting will always be wrong, and this implies presenting irregularities and eventually being able to have problems with the Treasury."

The Datali Group team has developed a SaaS called Accountali that integrates via API with the Amazon seller account and extracts the data automatically. From there, they offer all kinds of financial solutions, adapting to the needs of their clients in a totally personalized way.

"In my case, I have been very lucky to come across great professionals and I have never felt discriminated against for being a woman," explains Carrasco. “However, I do want to make an aside, since it is true that the financial and auditing sectors still have a long way to go to modernize”, he adds. “It is normalizing, and I am very proud that there are more and more female professional figures,” she says. “There is still a lot of talent to discover, but little by little we are paving the way to establish a balance based on current sociocultural standards,” she concludes.

With the aim of promoting companies led by women, the Mataró TecnoCampus has been collaborating for years with Dona't un Impuls, a non-profit association that offers support to strengthen and promote businesses led by women in the province of Barcelona.

“Our association has its origins in 2010 when the Mataró city council launched a support program for businesses led by women”, explains the president Laura Fernández. “The program extends beyond the geographical limits of the city, and comes to offer accompaniment services, training, and even benchmark trips for the participating women,” she adds. "After 3 years, the program came to an end and from the economic promotion (IMPEM) of Mataró we were encouraged to continue doing the work that until now was in the hands of the administration," says Fernández.

Today, Don't an Impuls has more than 70 members in the province of Barcelona. They offer direct support to their members' businesses through access to information, training and business meeting spaces. In addition, they also offer privileged access to services offered by other entities with whom they have agreements.

“On the other hand, we work in areas of indirect impact not only for our members, but for all of society in general”, explains Fernández. “We actively participate in roundtables for reflection and decision focused on at least one of these two areas: business and/or women,” she points out. “It is part of our commitment to contribute to gender equality, in addition to working to make businesses profitable and competitive,” she concludes.



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