In anticipation of the June 2012 Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network (DWEN) global conference in New Dehli, Dell commissioned a Women's Global Entrepreneurship Study to understand regional differences between women entrepreneurs.
The study revealed optimism and opportunity for women-owned businesses in both the U.S. and India, and looked at indicators of business confidence, motivations, financing options, and sources of support. Here are some key findings of differences and similarities between women entrepreneurs in India and the U.S.
Of female Indian entrepreneurs, 98% believe it is important that their businesses have a positive social impact; 86% of U.S. women entrepreneurs cite this opinion. While the study didn't poll male entrepreneurs, I doubt that men would respond as the women did to this question. Spouses were a top source for advice when starting a business: 43% in the U.S.; 41% in India.
The majority of women started their companies while maintaining their current day job: 68% in the U.S.; 90% in India.
The study finds that business confidence is aligned with country growth expectations looking out 5 years.
- Women in the U.S. feel their businesses are successful and confident about the future. They expect median business growth of over 50% over the course of the next 5 years.
- Indian entrepreneurs are far more optimistic and expect median business growth of 90%.
The projected India gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to be about 8.2 percent during 2011-2012, far surpassing U.S. GDP growth of less than 3 percent.
Technology is seen key to all ventures. In India, 74% say their needs are getting more complex whereas 45% of U.S. entrepreneurs say their needs are getting more complex. Interestingly, in India, only 10 percent of entrepreneurs feel that technology is strategic whereas 30% of U.S. entrepreneurs see technology as being strategic.
How are the women entrepreneurs addressing their technology needs?
Given the abundance and relative cost of outsource I.T. resources in India, these differences aren't surprising. In India, the biggest technology needs are for 24/7 support, data security, cutting costs, and improving relationships with vendors. In the U.S., the biggest technology needs are cutting costs, data security, and compatibility with existing software systems in use.
How are the women funding their businesses?
* Banks and credit unions were cited as the most difficult sources from which to obtain funding
* Family members were the easiest in the U.S.; angel investors were the easiest in India
* U.S. bank or credit union biggest obstacles were income (24%) and obtaining low interest loans (15%)
* India bank or credit union biggest obstacles were low interest loans (30%) and income (24%)
* Finding a co-signer and credit history were lesser obstacles in U.S. and India
* Median capital required in U.S.: $19,986
* Median capital required in India: $9,376
I wanted to know why there is such tremendous optimism in India contrasted with the U.S. In Part 2, I will summarize interviews from two Indian entrepreneurs and one U.S.-based entrepreneur.
[Image: Flickr user Dell]