First-ever report on the state of female entrepreneurs shows self-employed women are disproportionately affected with regard to mental health, impeding their success.
Female Representation in the World of Entrepreneurs
There are around 250 million self-employed women, worldwide; a figure expected to grow to 490 million by 2030. Women are starting businesses at record rates and female entrepreneur activity is up 10%. This is an increase of 5% since 2014. Yet, female-founders scale their businesses at a slower rate than their male counterparts. If female entrepreneurs were scaling their firms at the same rate as male-founded businesses, they would contribute an estimated 12 trillion dollars to the global economy. So why the delay?
Mental Health in Female Entrepreneurs
Resurgo, a tech startup dedicated to better mental health for entrepreneurial women, looked into the state of mental health in female entrepreneurs. After a four-year long study, researchers found that female entrepreneurs suffer significant risks to their mental health. In addition to those risks generally associated with entrepreneurship, women suffer female-specific risks. Furthermore, self-employed women lack the necessary support to mitigate these risks. Subsequently, they are prevented from significantly contributing to the global economy.
Current State of Mental Health
Only 32% of the sample described their current mental health as good or great. In fact, a quarter of respondents described it as poor or bad. The vast majority of respondents (70%) indicated that they regularly felt overwhelmed. Worryingly, 22% of respondents indicated that they experience feelings of wanting to “escape life”. All of these findings indicate a poor state of mental health across female entrepreneurs.
Lack of Support
Furthermore, it seems that these women lack the necessary support for their mental health issues. The support available does not proactively address the risks to their mental health and is not holistic. Women are also disproportionately represented financially. Factoring in gendered labour, women work the equivalent of three jobs and get paid for around 50% of one. If women were suitably supported, there is great potential to what they could achieve.
CEO Laurel Anne Stark aims to combat this by supporting the uniquely female mental health problems that occur within female entrepreneurs. She comments “When women are supported to feel well, they are better positioned to do well, both in business and in life”. Resurgo is the first web-app to aid support self-employed women, designed to address female-specific mental health issues.