BMO Financial Group, Carleton University and The Beacon Agency released a new independent study, A Force to Reckon With: WOMEN, ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND RISK, that has found that women entrepreneurs in Canada have difficulty securing funding from financial institutions because they are mistakenly perceived as risk averse and unable to generate the same economic growth as men.
BMO sponsored the study which found:
- The number of self-employed women with an incorporated business has increased by 15 per cent since 2007;
- Over two thirds (68 per cent) of female owned companies reported capturing a larger share of their existing market through innovation; and,
- Businesses with majority female ownership report the highest instance of average yearly revenue growth of more than 20 per cent.
Additional key findings include:
- Women entrepreneurs make decisions that require risk to grow and build their businesses.
- Women entrepreneurs tend to take a relationship and longer term approach to business and a holistic approach to calculating risk-based decisions.
- Women entrepreneurs are misinterpreted as risk averse, although their businesses are not underperforming in comparison to their male counterparts.
- Women entrepreneurs are eager for information that can assist in making sound decisions around risk, and are not afraid of seeking it out in different forms to grow their business.
- Women entrepreneurs are more likely to be funded personally, rather than assuming debt from a financial institution.
How BMO Plans to Expand Support for Female Entrepreneurs
In addition to the current partnerships that BMO has with business organizations that support female entrepreneurs, along with the two billion dollars in credit the bank has made available to women entrepreneurs, new actions in response to the report include:
- Employee education and communication surrounding how female entrepreneurs approach risk decisions, including staff webinars, training videos and programs focusing on how to help entrepreneurs at every stage of their business.
- Continue to seek out key sponsorships that focus on mentorship of entrepreneurs like Women Presidents’ Organization, GroYourBiz and SheEO.
- Identify female entrepreneur specialists at the branch level in key markets to emphasize BMO’s established customer relationship management approach, which the study highlights is particularly important to women entrepreneurs.
- Product development that specifically targets female entrepreneurs and is in line with key findings, including the BMO Women in Leadership Fund mutual fund.
To view the full report, please click here.