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Female and Male Entrepreneurs Have Like Experiences, But Female Funding Lags, According to 99designs’ Survey

A recent survey of 3,000 entrepreneurs confirmed the funding gap that exists between male and female entrepreneurs.  The second annual International Women’s Day Entrepreneurship Survey conducted by graphic design marketplace 99designs revealed that 28% of men polled raised $100k or more for their business startup, while only 15% of women were able to do so.  The prior year survey revealed similar results with a gap of 12% vs. 6%, respectively.

"Women all over the world have become more vocal over the last two years, speaking out and marching toward political, social and economic change. Many of these issues are present in the world of entrepreneurship, as you can see exposed through the results of our survey, which we hope paints an honest picture of where women business owners are today," said 99designs Chief Marketing and Operations Officer Pamela Webber.

Yet, the survey revealed that male and female entrepreneurs have similar experiences and attitudes surrounding their entrepreneurial endeavors such as having the same levels of guilt about spending time with their business, noting "less time with friends" as the biggest sacrifice to being an entrepreneur, and both see a "Hard Work Ethic" followed by "Confidence" as the top skills/traits for an entrepreneur to be successful.  On the other end of the spectrum, both gender groups saw "Charisma," "Intelligence" and "Financial Acumen" as the most overrated traits for success for an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurs growing their ventures have fears, and both men and women cited finding new customers and moving past their comfort zone as their greatest.  

Why did they start a business? Again, both groups saw motivation in similar ways, listing passion and/or expertise in an area first, followed by having a freedom/flexible schedule; and then stating their aspiration that they always wanted to be an entrepreneur.

An infographic reflecting the survery results is available at