Women’s entrepreneurship: the steps Colombia has taken
Last year, the country gave the green light to the Entrepreneurship Law 2069 of 2020 that seeks to encourage this sector and takes specific measures so that more and more women in Colombia lead and are part of the creation of new companies.
This regulation seeks, among other things, to close a gap in female participation in the field of business and innovation, where the relationship of women is still very low and there is still a lot of work to be done.
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This is demonstrated by the recent report ‘The ecosystem of Latin American startups in the seed stage’, carried out by the Platzi platform, which reveals that in the region only 30 percent of emerging technology-based businesses have the participation of at least one women within their teams.
This is in addition to the low percentage of women trained in Steam areas (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), which are increasingly in demand in the labor market. According to UN Women, the representation of women in high growth sectors such as Artificial Intelligence development is 22 percent and in Machine Learning it is 12 percent.
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“This reflects a great opportunity, because the participation of female entrepreneurs is still very low, female participation is very timid. Although spaces have been gained, the country must strengthen the institutions and support networks of the sector to generate more female leaderships within the businesses, ”says Augusto Londoño, ad hoc manager of the Caldas Entrepreneurship Network.
Despite this, the country has made progress in recent years in creating more spaces for women. According to the ranking of the World Economic Forum, by 2019 Colombia went from ranking 44 to 22 in closing gender gaps.
“The gap between men and women in the technology industry is still very high as in other sectors and affects all socioeconomic levels,” says Ingrid Zúñiga, PR and director of communications at Platzi.
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What changes with the law?
One of the main advances promoted by Law 2069 to better balance the involvement of women in business is the creation of the ‘Fondo Mujer Emprende’, which has an initial capital of 20,000 million pesos to promote and finance women’s enterprises, associations and companies throughout the national territory.
The legislation also contemplates the training and participation of business acceleration programs in the agricultural sector, in which those that mostly have the participation of women will have priority and will be able to participate in non-reimbursable resources that benefit the promotion of entrepreneurship. .
Likewise, women’s companies that are part of bids or calls in the public procurement system may receive additional scores in the evaluation of the applicants. To this is added that in the event that in a contracting process with the State there is a tie among the participants, the proposal that has a female head of the family, a victim of domestic violence, will be chosen. or that they have the majority of female personnel.
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“These types of strategies are valuable for women to have an increasingly open path in their professional development and to promote leadership roles and consider the participation of women in the management teams of companies,” says Manuela Noreña, entrepreneur and co-founder of Heltto.
Among the approaches that the country must have in order to generate greater scenarios for the emergence of female entrepreneurs is the promotion of public policies that promote aid in all phases of the business, as indicated by Londoño.
“You have to give a will from the Government to put into operation what the entrepreneurship law proposes and not just remain on paper, in addition to regulating the points that still need to be developed, this will give differential values for when women want to start undertake ”, adds the ad hoc manager of the Caldas Entrepreneurship Network.
Likewise, Londoño points out, the visibility of projects led by women plays a very important role, where not only the entrepreneur plays a role, but also the entities in charge of promoting the development of entrepreneurship, unions and women’s networks.
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In this coincides, Katya Warner, entrepreneur and founder of Moon Bubble, who also highlights that one of the best ways to equate the field of entrepreneurship in Colombia is to promote education and support processes.
“That is what helps the most, having contact and advice with people who know how to do things, who have gone through what you are experiencing. Share those experiences with the other, from mistakes to elements of success ”, he details.
By last, Noreña assures that more spaces of representation of initiatives with female participation should be opened, since this will allow balancing and the roles of women in command positions.
“It is necessary that women sit at the table and it is normalized that we are in directive and decision-making positions. We are not going to achieve anything by stepping aside, as it has been normalized for years ”, highlights the entrepreneur.
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