The rise of start-ups in the 21st century has been a standout business trend in the post-Great Recession era. From household names like Uber and Airbnb to Instagram and Zoom, the boom of the last decade and a half has been a remarkable time for bootstrapped, tech-driven businesses to make their mark. The spurring of entrepreneurship after the 2007-2008 crash can be tied to all manner of factors however the need for employment without oppressive overheads urged on innovation with research from Robert W. Fairlie asserting that, “The Great Recession caused many businesses to close their doors or file for bankruptcy protection, but the rapid rise in unemployment also drove an increase in entrepreneurship.” Ultimately, the ecosystem created urgency around innovation and many people who had already lost a lot or were experiencing a limited job market had no choice but to pivot quickly and leverage the business benefits of technology in the process.
In the time since, the start-up economy has gone from strength to strength which is consistent with trends for the staying power of businesses started during an economic downturn. In fact, one report found that 57% of Fortune 500 firms in 2009 had gotten their start during previous recessions. When we jump forward to the present, start-ups are still a major feature of the global business landscape yet an emerging niche is female-led start-ups. Previously actual investment dollars for these companies was not just limited, they were proportionally underfunded. In the last five years this has taken a dramatic shift as venture capitalists started to turn their attention to female-led or co-led businesses resulting in unprecedented investment. Subsequently, there has been a historic period of ‘unicorn’ valuations for female-led businesses with 21 of these start-ups valued at over $1 billion US dollars in 2019 ‒ a number that’s seen explosive growth since 2015.
This infographic ‘Female-Led Start-ups Changing The World in 2020’ is a resource for anyone interested in entrepreneurship and innovation from Trainwest. The graphic delves into the topic of these start-ups in more detail with a roundup of nine of the most groundbreaking female-led or female-co-led start-ups shaping a range of industries and civic spaces from all over the world. With a broad range of start-ups, their solutions target complex problems from service delivery, medical technology, direct-to-consumer beauty, and sustainable consumerism. After reading the guide, you will have learned more about their journeys, their vision, and their flourishing impact in the market as well as the start-up economy at large.