Introducing She’s the Business

Our new research reveals female entrepreneurs receive 5 per cent less funding than male entrepreneurs, globally. We spoke to over 1,200 entrepreneurs across eight different markets to understand why #ShesTheBusiness

Research findings

At HSBC Private Banking, we’re proud of our long standing history in helping entrepreneurs across the world transform their imagination and ambition into stories of success and pride. For centuries, we’ve connected people and businesses across the world, fuelling growth and uncovering opportunity.

Over the last few years, we have undertaken substantial research into the journeys and motivations of entrepreneurs. Whilst entrepreneurship as a whole has been flourishing, we were disconcerted by the fact that still today, female entrepreneurs represent less than 5 per cent of deal flow. While the proportion of women-led start-ups continues to grow, female entrepreneurs are statistically still playing catch-up. We had to explore why.

To provide female entrepreneurs with the opportunities and resources they need to grow their businesses, we have compiled this report reflecting our research into raising capital, the most significant challenge all entrepreneurs face. Our research identifies the particular hurdles faced by women in the start-up community at critical points along the way, and explores the underlying, often subtle reasons why female entrepreneurs feel negatively impacted.

While our research focuses on the challenges female entrepreneurs face when raising capital, it also points to suggestions and improvements we can make. The female entrepreneurs participating in our research proposed a number of suggestions to help improve the investment process, including:

  • Access to networks: Having a strong support network is essential for entrepreneurial success, however a lack of peers and mentors is limiting female entrepreneurs in terms of growth. Having access to business networks can help female entrepreneurs facilitate the introductions and connections to help scale their business.
  • Role models: Female entrepreneurs are more likely to be inspired to start their business by other women in their industry or female role models. We need to champion and give platforms to female founders.
  • Overcoming bias: Female entrepreneurs felt bias could be prevented or significantly reduced if investors regularly review their investment choices and by having mixed investor panels.
  • Investment knowledge: Transparent investor criteria and constructive feedback are the key areas where female entrepreneurs would welcome more input from investors.


Download the “She’s the business” Report in PDF format (923KB, PDF)

Download the Media release in PDF format (347KB, PDF)