In conjunction with International Women’s Day, Facebook had released its latest Future of Business report. The survey found that funding remains one of the biggest challenges for women entrepreneurs. In Singapore, over four in 10 women business owners on Facebook started their business with personal savings and only about one in 10 state that they currently have formal financing support through sources such as a bank loan or credit line. Recognizing these challenges, Facebook is partnering with Girls in Tech to provide female entrepreneurs across Asia Pacific with the tools and opportunities they need to help secure funding.
Women continue to drive great economic impact around the world. In the 97 countries surveyed, 39 per cent of people identifying as owners or managers of small businesses on Facebook are women. Over eight in 10 women-owned small businesses state social media is helpful to their business. In Singapore, women business owners on Facebook report the helpfulness of social media to their business at a rate that is statistically higher than their male counterparts, with over nine in 10 female business owners saying that social media is helpful to their business.
“We mark International Women’s Day by celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements that women have made in our communities. We are proud that women around the world are using Facebook to deliver social and economic impact. However, despite the positive impact of social media and community on women running businesses, the Future of Business reveals that female entrepreneurs still face significant barriers when seeking to fund their ventures. Through Facebook’s partnership with Girls in Tech, we look forward to enabling more women in Singapore to get access to funding,” said Sandhya Devanathan, Country Director, Facebook Singapore.
The year-long partnership will consist of a series of funding-focused programs to be rolled out in Australia, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia and Korea:
• Startup Breakthroughs Bootcamp – a three-five day, hands-on leadership and business training program for current or aspiring women entrepreneurs taught by entrepreneurs. The program, developed with a UC Berkeley professor, teaches founders how to fully develop their startup and launch it into the market.
• #StartHerSuccess – An event series to connect female entrepreneurs (and allies) to the people and resources they need to thrive and build a more equal startup ecosystem.
“At a time when venture funding in female-only founded startups has remained at only 3 per cent percent of all venture dollars since 2012 – we are proud that Girls in Tech is seeing the evidence of an uptick in women founders at startups around the world. It is because Facebook and others are committed to closing the gap for women entrepreneurs through Startup Breakthroughs and other educational, community programs that we are making exponential progress toward a more equitable future,” said Adriana Gascoigne, CEO and Founder of Girls in Tech.
The Girls in Tech partnership is part of Facebook’s broader efforts to support women owned businesses and women’s economic empowerment through the #SheMeansBusiness movement. Facebook established #SheMeansBusiness in 2016 and has reached over 130,000 women in Asia Pacific to date.