Visa’s “Women Technology Entrepreneurs Research” results have been announced. The results shed light on issues such as the importance of STEM education in technology entrepreneur women, lack of mentors and gender inequality in investments. Accordingly, the inadequacy in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) education appears to be an obstacle for women entrepreneurs compared to men. The lack of role models is another problem.
The research conducted by Ipsos for Visa reveals the profile of female technology entrepreneurs, opportunities and barriers, based on the views of technology entrepreneurs women, men and investors investing in this field.
Lack of digital space prevents women from receiving investment
Among the prominent findings of the study, the low rate of women technology entrepreneurs who receive STEM education at university is striking. Accordingly, while the rate of STEM-educated technology entrepreneur females is 26%, this rate rises to 60% for males. Having a STEM education in technology entrepreneurship is associated with company founders’ mastery of their work and less dependence on external resources. Research results reveal that investors also care about the issue for the same reasons. Therefore, the low rate of women who are technology entrepreneurs who have STEM education creates an obstacle for them to invest in their ventures.
There is a need for a mentoring system
Mentorship in the start-up ecosystem; It plays an important role in sharing knowledge based on experience in various fields of expertise, investment preparation and maturation of initiatives. The research reveals that technology startups in general do not get enough mentor support: Only 22% of female entrepreneurs and 28% of male entrepreneurs have experience working with mentors. These figures indicate that the mentoring system should be expanded in our country.
Female tech entrepreneurs have no role models
According to the study, 53% of female tech entrepreneurs do not have a role-model to inspire them with success stories or share their experiences of how they overcome barriers. However, examples of initiatives that can serve as role models are important in terms of setting an example for, inspiring or encouraging other initiatives on the same path, both with their success and the obstacles they have overcome. Research findings suggest that these samples are not sufficiently accessible or visible.
Lack of information is the most important obstacle to investment
The research also sheds light on many data regarding the investment-oriented approaches and knowledge levels of women technology entrepreneurs. To this, only 17% of women tech entrepreneurs seek investment, compared to 47% of men. The rate of women applying for investor support to establish their ventures is as low as 10%. The same rate triples for male tech entrepreneurs.
Again, according to the research, women voluntarily avoid receiving investment. Women technology entrepreneurs worry that their businesses will be intervened if they get investor support. Describing the investor world as a men’s club, women entrepreneurs also see the necessary preparation and networking meetings as a burden to take part in investment tours. The most important obstacle for women to turn to investment is the lack of information. Nearly 40% of the entrepreneurs taking part in the research state that they are not aware of investment options. As a result of all these factors, women consider the difficulties they encounter in terms of access to investment among the priority obstacles they experience as entrepreneurs.
“We are putting our hands under the stone”
Startups Watch According to data that 14% of the founders of the woman with the start-up of the ratio in Turkey, the world rates also stressed that the above are just a few points from this figure Visa Southeast Europe Regional General Manager Berna Ülman light on many points concerning the woman’s technology entrepreneurship research stated that he was holding. Ülman said, “The share of women in initiatives that create technology in our country, as well as in the world, should increase. The research we have carried out reveals the deficiencies that need to be overcome in order to empower women in this field. Based on the research findings as Visa in Turkey have decided to take action. First of all, we will give women equal chance to men in the selection of candidates for our Visa Innovation Program for fintechs. Second, we decided to support women entrepreneurs’ access to mentoring as Visa. For this, we are launching a new program for our employees, each of whom are experts in their fields, to mentor women start-ups ”.
Quantitative and qualitative research techniques were used in the research conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Visa. Within the scope of the quantitative research, 79 entrepreneurs in total were interviewed using the online questionnaire method. Within the scope of qualitative research, in-depth interviews were held with 7 investors and 13 entrepreneurs.