Female Entrepreneurs Poised For Boost From New Tech Regulation

Female-led companies made meaningful gains in 2021, but the work of using digital technology to level the playing field for women entrepreneurs is just starting its ascent, dealing not only with classic obstacles facing women in business but strong economic headwinds.

The May/June 2022 report “Female Entrepreneurs and Technology: Building New Markets and Better Opportunities,” a PYMNTS and Payoneer collaboration, noted that the first three quarters of 2021 saw $40 billion raised by female-owned startups, calling it “a mere fraction of the $239 billion in venture capital (VC) invested over the same period, [but] double the amount raised by female-owned startups in all of 2020 and 2019, signifying women’s rapidly growing presence in the traditionally male-dominated business world.”

In a conversation with PYMNTS, Faith Frank, head of social impact and ESG at Payoneer, said that while much progress was made last year, business formation and leadership among women and people of color is still lagging significantly behind the broader entrepreneurial community.

“The [initial public offerings (IPOs)] of 2021 definitely saw progress as far as female-led companies, [but] it’s obviously not even close to the male-led companies,” she said, adding venture capital firms including Female Funders Fund, Ellevest and Rethink Impact are focusing solely on funding women and people of color.

At present, the amount of progress that can be made right now is unclear. Frank said IPOs have slowed down in 2022 so far — after more than doubling in 2021 over 2020. However, venture capital dry powder grew in the first quarter of 2022, and the increasing importance and interest in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues can help female- and minority-led companies get funding.