In 2017, women-led startups created more than 10 million jobs and generated $1.5 billion in revenue in the US alone, according to the 2020 Women in Entrepreneurship report by Endeavor Insights. Between 1997 and 2012, US businesses founded by women increased by over 80 percent, compared to a 31 percent increase companies led by men.
However, when it comes to companies with over 50 employees, men-owned companies outnumber startups founded by women by three to one. As businesses with under 20 employees have been hit the hardest by the COVID-19 crisis, the ramifications of the pandemic will affect women at a significantly higher rate than men.
“If more women founders could grow their companies to 50 or more employees, it would have a tangible effect on closing the wage and wealth gaps that exist between women and men,” the report stated. “It would also generate a substantial number of jobs and add a significant amount to the nation’s GDP.”
After successfully launching startup accelerators for Black and Canadian founders, Google has decided to tackle the lack of gender equality in the startup ecosystem.
Google for Startups Accelerator for Women Founders is a three-month virtual programme aimed towards high-potential, Seed and Series A startups in the US and Canada that are led by women. The companies need to have at least 10 employees, and the founder and other appropriate team members must be available for all the programme’s activities.
During the three months, cohort members will have access to mentorship, digital workshops and programming every week. The talks and workshops will focus on product design, customer acquisition and leadership development, whereas much of the technical support will have an emphasis on data and machine learning. Relevant specialists from Google will help the founders address the technical challenges involved in operating and scaling their businesses.
“Receiving mentorship from entrepreneurs who have previously scaled companies is one of the clearest differences between women who scaled their businesses and those who did not,” the Endeavor report said.
Over 1,000 startups applied for the inaugural cohort, out of which five were chosen from Canada and seven were based in the US. The programme will begin in September.
“Supporting women entrepreneurs isn’t just the right thing to do; it is an opportunity to fuel the economy when it needs it most,” as written on the company’s blog. “Google for Startups is proud to support female founders by connecting them with the best of Google’s people, products and programming. We encourage investors, organizations and decision-makers to follow suit by reading up on how you can best support women entrepreneurs in your communities.
“Because when women win, we all win.”
Saad Sherida al-Kaabi
Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber