Women’s entrepreneurship: what is the situation in 2024 ?

According to the 4th edition of the French entrepreneurial index conducted by OpinionWay, 3 out of 10 French women are engaged in entrepreneurial activities in 2024.

Entrepreneuriat Feminin 2024

“Women are increasingly daring to become entrepreneurs, and it is the role of Bpifrance, the bank for all entrepreneurs, to promote diversity so that all talents are valued and supported. » Marie-Adeline Peix, Executive Director of Partnerships, Creation, and Territorial Action at Bpifrance, demonstrates through this statement that while specific barriers to entrepreneurship persist for women, the good news is that their place is evolving rapidly. According to the 4th edition of the French entrepreneurial index conducted by OpinionWay, 48% of French women wish to start their own businesses by 2024. Let’s take a closer look.


Still facing barriers and stereotypes…

Through the question of specific barriers to female entrepreneurship, we can see the weight of gender stereotypes. These stereotypes still have a significant impact on fundraising and the confidence of potential investors or partners, leading to an underestimation of projects led by women. Female entrepreneurs still often face an environment that favors projects led by men. As a result, access to financing is more complex and is reflected in the data. While 33.5% of companies created in 2023 were founded by women, they only represent 11% of the funds raised in 2022. The perception of certain sectors also plays a role, with sectors like Tech, science, and industry being seen as more male-dominated, in contrast to fields like culture, education, and healthcare.

Furthermore, the consideration of personal challenges such as family life or the fear of lack of support from their surroundings reinforces these difficulties. The combination of these factors contributes to a more hostile climate for women with entrepreneurial projects. However, their presence in the French entrepreneurial landscape continues to progress. In response to these stereotypes, numerous awareness-raising initiatives have been developed.


… but a growing presence

As a sign of a changing environment, the desire to become an entrepreneur is now stronger among women than men: 48% in 2024 compared to 40% for men, according to a study by OpinionWay dated March 2024. With the development of structures and programs aimed at strengthening the position of women entrepreneurs, the past few years have seen the emergence of new female models of entrepreneurship such as Céline Lazorthes (Leetchi), Roxanne Varza (Station F), Eva Sadoun (Lita.co), and Marie Ekeland (France Digitale).

Another piece of good news is that this dynamic is notably driven by female leaders or former leaders (+4 points): in other words, the entrepreneurial chain is becoming less reliant on intention and more concrete. The French entrepreneurial index 2023 by Bpifrance also highlights that women are younger, more educated, and more resilient. When the economic situation deteriorates, it impacts men more.


A real need for support for all entrepreneurs

Numerous support networks and assistance programs are emerging for women entrepreneurs, such as Les Premières, Action’Elles, Femmes de Territoires, and Empow’Her. However, the demand for support remains high for both women and men. For example, 2 out of 10 project leaders and 4 out of 10 business leaders have received support, regardless of their gender. But the nature of the support differs for project leaders: women are more likely to rely on entrepreneurial communities (25% of female project leaders), their close circle (23%), or local social actors (22%). On the other hand, men are significantly more supported by incubators or accelerators (37%) than other forms of support.

Original author : Simon Napierala