The number of independent professional women has risen in the last few decades, but the image of “the entrepreneur” in Germany is still male-dominated. The number of start-ups founded by women is increasing, and nowadays more of these are full-time, and not just part-time, occupations (2016: 39%). More women setting up companies means more ideas, more jobs, and stronger growth for Germany. A high level of diversity of business models and corporate cultures can also generate crucial competitive advantages.
Successful women entrepreneurs as role models
The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy wants to encourage women to use their qualifications and skills to realise their own business ideas and to build up successful companies. The Economic Affairs Ministry’s “” initiative has been spotlighting women entrepreneurs in nearly all sectors since 2014.
Under the initiative, successful women entrepreneurs serve as role models for schoolgirls, trainees, students, graduates and other women interested in going into business, showing them the opportunities and challenges of running one’s own business. This gives the women and girls a realistic and highly personal insight into what daily life as an entrepreneur is really like. The women entrepreneurs show how entrepreneurship can be an attractive career option for women. The “WOMEN Entrepreneurs” initiative also helps to make the work undertaken by female entrepreneurs more visible – presenting their success, their dedication, and their contribution to the future of Germany’s economy.
The “Women Entrepreneurs’ Breakfast”, which was launched in 2014 in a joint initiative by Economic Affairs Minister Brigitte Zypries and Prof. Dr Gesche Joost, is targeted at women interested in going into business, bringing them together with successful women entrepreneurs and providing ideas about all the issues relating to start-ups.
Giving targeted support to women entrepreneurs
In order to furnish women interested in setting up in business with tailored information for their projects, the Economic Affairs Ministry has set up a website for . The website presents local contacts and networks, runs a hotline for direct contacts, and works with the nationwide Agency for Women Start-ups to present women who have successfully set up their own company.
Successful women in the digital sector
Whilst far fewer women set up a company in technology-oriented fields, there are successful women entrepreneurs here too. For this reason, Economic Affairs Minister Brigitte Zypries supports the “Women in digital” initiative, which aims to make digital start-ups by women more visible and to improve their networking. “Women in digital” offers female decision-makers in companies, the media, politics, organisations and business associations a platform for cooperation, projects and dialogue.
You can find out more on the “” website.