According to Female Founders, businesses run by a woman executive team are more likely to have higher valuations. Yet, companies led by women CEOs are reported only to receive around 3 % of VC dollars.
That’s right, 3%.
The positive side is that there are lots to say regarding what businesswomen in Singapore can do to insert into Singapore Startups today.
Let’s start with one of the most critical points of departure.
Ecosystems of Support for Female Startup Founders
First, we can get involved in and even juice ecosystems of support for female entrepreneurs. Think of these as fruitful as they can be for you. Conceived as coworking spaces and women networks, much good can come out of thinking – and even just working – together; in the same physical area. That’s a massive advantage of accelerator programs, particularly those aimed at women-oriented, women-focused, or female-owned businesses.
The Singapore Women Entrepreneur Summit’s Fund Pitch Competition, for instance, can be a solid start for those female entrepreneurs looking to learn about pitching investors, VC firms, private parties, and more!
Aside from incubators, Female Founders also remind us of the urge to think about accounting, legal, coaching, and training networks.
Specifically for businesswomen in Singapore, the Business Women Network Asia is also there to assist in this. Or the Singapore Business and Professional Women’s Association, the Federation of Business and Professional Women Singapore, and so many others!
Depending on the target market, these areas of focus can change. Yet, we can certainly aim at international options for female empowerment in business. Or scout those regions where our specific commerce gets handled in ways that validate and foster our startup needs.
There are tons of daring circumstances operating against anyone looking to make it as a startup. It’s a tough start. Yet, bear in mind that this is true worldwide. And that can mean something geopolitically, even as a potential business advantage.
Also, we acknowledge that finding networks that support and empower women in business that resonate with our needs and interests isn’t always easy, either. Yet, we can be critical of those that do exist, too. And seek to grow in the most imminent areas for our precise company needs in a given market.
In the end, coming in contact with these spaces bears a power of networking and mindset diversification that can prove useful to most starting entrepreneurs.
To expand a bit on how female entrepreneurs can take the lead in Singapore’s startup market in 2020, as promised, we’ll move on to the bases that affect this gender disparity.
The Gender Inequality Gap in Business
Of course, there’s a gap when we speak of equality for women doing business, and Singapore startups are no exception. The World Economic Forum’s latest report on the Gender Gap deems 257 years before closing the economic participation gap between men and women. Subjecting on how we look at it, that can seem pretty gloomy.
However, we’ve come far and can always use a bit of rejoicing when we seem to be closer to true equality.
The truth is that women are certainly going to work to continue to dominate a sizable portion of the market. We need to be tactical about what we do with startups in business today. For that, let’s continue to consider our current reality.
What’s doing Business-like for Women in Singapore?
According to the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE), women make up almost half of Singapore’s workforce. We represent 26.3 % of business owners and around 30% of all tech-related industries.
And our national landscape doesn’t look too bleak, either, when we look at the business sector in general. Singapore ranked 3rd in the Asia-Pacific region for fostering growth for women entrepreneurs, and our stellar access to technology and talent should make this fertile ground for women entrepreneurs.
Competition is fierce, though, and definitely a factor we should be contemplating in our business analyses for national and international work.
There’s a global need for a switch in how women are conceived in these spaces. And we could also use a new structure to stop it from being so hard for female entrepreneurs to take an active part in doing business. That’s definitely the case.
Yet, we can also continue to operate aggressively in markets. Research proves some level of potential profitability, particularly for potential investors.
What Women in Startups Need?
Taking seats in executive boards can help female entrepreneurs in Singapore right now. Being a part of accelerators, too! And we certainly need to solve the pay gap between men and women in the country.
Thinking of the long-term, we can encourage women to enroll in STEM courses in Universities, for example. Educational work with girls, in which they’re supported and presented with the multiple advantages of degrees in these areas, can also mean access to better-paid jobs in the future.
The accessibility to tech can also break glass ceilings. At the same time, current and future generations work on a competitive edge for girls and women trying to make it in business.
To stir that imagination, we’re going to leave you with a few inspiring examples of the most amazing and fearless women who have succeeded in becoming industry leaders.
If you like this sort of news, let yourself be inspired by more stories in our SHEQuest section, sharing Amazing Stories of Extraordinary Women.
Women who Inspire in Business
From e-commerce to national tourism in Singapore, here are stories made examples of women who’ve leaped. These top-level entrepreneurs fought persistently. And they’ve persevered in launching profitable businesses that are changing the history of influential female entrepreneurs in Asia.
Love, Bonito is the name of the label she started as a blog shop and expanded to 16 stores in the region. She co-founded this company with Vleda Tan and Viola Tan to cater to modern Asian women. They now sell original designs with an approximate $10 million in revenue.
Here’s a 23-year-old woman who set a big goal for herself and is now on a current company value of about a billion US dollars. Zilingo is the name of her e-commerce. It provides solutions for small fashion business owners by giving them access to technology. Talk about setting a dream and working to achieve it!
Tan Hooi Ling:
Co-founder of Grab, a transportation company in Singapore, Tan Hooi Ling’s company expanded to nine countries. She met her co-founder at Harvard Business School, and they decided to make the taxi industry safer. They’ve since moved on to food delivery, hotel booking, and so much more! Grab is an exceptionally valued tech unicorn today.
Imagine being the founder of not only one but two startups by the age of a young 25. That’s when Kwok founded SmartCow and NeuralBay. With one startup, she builds hardware for AI (Artificial Intelligence). Through the other, she does visual detection and recognition software for companies. Pretty stellar, right?
Named LinkedIn Power Profile for 2015-2018, Choo was also chosen as one of Asia’s 50 Women Leaders. Her tech company, Tickle, is a platform for community-driven experiences. She’s also been involved in several other startups such as ZipTrip and Wander.
Liked what you read? Hop on to our related article on Rachel Lim’s Success Story, and stick around for much more. Feel free to connect with us if you’d like to contribute to our knowledge of women in business in Asia and the world. We’re all ears!