A recent multi-market survey released by PayPal reveals that women feel encouraged to enter the entrepreneurial landscape. Fifty percent of the aspirational entrepreneurs polled described themselves as optimistic and saw few barriers to their future business success.
The survey polled 1,200 aspiring and current entrepreneurs who have owned their businesses for less than three years. Results spotlight cultural differences, barriers to success and varying attitudes towards launching small businesses among women in the United States, China, France and Mexico.
Entrepreneurial motivation and opportunity
The motivations to start businesses was similar for both aspirational and actual entrepreneurs, including finding a better work-life balance, gaining greater independence and to be more financially successful. For aspirational entrepreneurs, 47 percent of women named passion as their leading motivation; and the improving economy is encouraging many of these aspiring new business owners to seize the opportunity and start now.
“At PayPal we are committed to helping female entrepreneurs to innovate, start and grow their businesses,” said Christina Smedley, vice president of Global Brand and Communications at PayPal. “Our digital and mobile technology supports them while they contribute to what we call ‘the People Economy’ – an era where people are more empowered and have more control of their financial lives than ever before.”
Independence was a common attribute many of the women shared. Sixty-four percent of the American women identified themselves this way, compared with 62 percent of the Mexican women and 47 percent of the Chinese females.
The hopes for their new businesses varied by the nationality of the entrepreneur polled. In Mexico and France, two-thirds of aspiring entrepreneurs said they wanted to start a business for reasons of pride, though respondents in Mexico listed building a family legacy as equally important. In the United States 55 percent of aspirational entrepreneurs listed work-life balance as their top hope; 48 percent of China’s aspirational business women said “being in control of their future” was most important.
Industry focus varies by country
In China and Mexico, apparel and accessories were the most common businesses owned by the women entrepreneurs in the survey. French female entrepreneurs have opened health and beauty companies, followed by handmade and artisan crafts businesses. In stark contrast, owning a consulting business was the leading interest for both current and aspirational American business owners. This complements the growth of the maker movement in America where more newly created businesses are applying practical skills in innovative and creative ways.
Issues to conquer on the road to success
The survey revealed unique issues facing those about to start a small business or owners of businesses less than a year old. For many women, completing a business plan, finalizing financing and establishing payment methods were critical benchmarks for future success. Both current and aspirational entrepreneurs reported that legal and financial help in the early stages of setting up a business are of primary concern. In France, 56 percent of current business owners spent more than a year thinking about their business before launching, compared with 35 percent in China, 32 percent the United States and only 22 percent in Mexico.
Partnering and businesses preparedness
While business plans were carefully developed in the United States, many aspirational entrepreneurs still reported feeling unprepared.
- In the United States only 13 percent of the aspiring business owners reported feeling ready.
- In Mexico, by comparison, 59 percent felt prepared and 68 percent were ready to start their business within a year.
When aspiring entrepreneurs were asked what brands were most helpful as they prepared to launch, PayPal was number two overall globally, only behind Facebook and ahead of Google, LinkedIn, Amazon and YouTube.
PayPal understands the digital marketplace and is committed to supporting consumers across the globe by addressing their needs and investing in technologies that simplify their lives. PayPal is focused on supporting business owners and driving innovations that continue to help power the global economy.
Read more about this initiative in a blog by PayPal's Christina Semdley, VP of Global Brand and Communications.