“I have definitely seen a big jump in the number of female entrepreneurs looking to start up a technology business over the last 12 months. About 65 per cent of the investment pitches I hear in and around the London’s Silicon Roundabout area are from women entrepreneurs.”
Far from letting their relative inexperience of the technology industry be a hindrance, Raj believes that many of the businesses he reviews as an Investor are more likely to succeed compared to those businesses pitched by male entrepreneurs.
“Most, if not all, the female entrepreneurs I come across are not looking to be the next Google or Facebook. They are simply looking for more a more flexible work-life balance or more control over their future. This focus generally leads to a better quality business proposition in terms of more accurate and realistic sales and cash forecasts which are essential for the business to survive compared to the more aggressive forecasts by many male entrepreneurs who are out to make the most money they can.”
It would also be true to say that a lot of the business proposals are based around a particular need that they have experienced and understand, and more often than not, involves targeting a niche market which further drastically improves their chances of success and makes them more investable in.“
One final aspect that Raj seems to suggest is helping women make head waves into the tech scene is their outlook on finance and seeking help. Whilst he applauds schemes that help fund the start-up process such as The Start Up Loans scheme, chaired by ex-Dragon James Caan, he finds that a very high proportion of women prefer an experienced mentor and moral support over debt finance.
“Schemes such as the Start Up Loans are great, but they are simply not on the radar for a lot of the women entrepreneurs I talk to or work with. Many of them prefer to start their venture part time without any debt and only go full time once they have sufficient revenue coming into their business. This means they are able to start their business with less money than their male companions. More critically, what they seem to be more concerned with is finding an experienced mentor that can guide them through the early stages of their business or being able to share their struggles or dilemmas with people that are in the same boat as them.“
About Raj Dhonota
Raj Dhonota first came to the public eye in 2005 during the first series of The Apprentice. Since his time on the reality programme he has gone on to become a successful serial entrepreneur and investor in start-up businesses covering a range of industries from eCommerce, property, language translation, network marketing, recruitment, fashion and consumer goods. For more information, please visit: