Women Startups in Peru and Latin America

I am guessing the first thing that comes to your mind is a picture of llamas and Machu Picchu when thinking about Peru. For many years, Peru has been very traditional and still is true to much of its Inca culture, but surprisingly enough, their Startup community is pretty big and it is developing stronger and faster than ever.

Peru is ranked 1st within Latin America with 36% female entrepreneurs.

Peru has been the leading industry in Latinamerica for periods of times in several different areas of commerce, such as mining, fishing, agriculture and tourism. Today, it’s tech innovations and new ideas are keeping up with the market and leading into some new directions in the media and finance industries.

Although we see more and more startups launching and providing new innovative market solutions, can we be certain that gender equality is also parallelly growing within the same scope of modernity and technology?

Here is an overview of female startups and entrepreneurship in Peru and how they stand in relation to other Latin American countries.

To begin with, startups tend to have a 10% success rate after their first year of business, this is due to many reasons, such as legal, financial or administrative issues. There is a common culture of informal business in Peru, which compromises many of the companies and sets them for failure. Now, from those startups, around 32.5% are founded by at least one woman and are valued 40% higher than those founded by men.

Startups don’t stop at wedding planning and ‘girly’ events, they are present in every single industry, providing environmental solutions, social integration projects and technology friendly softwares. Women are coming stronger than ever, providing fresh, clear and life changing ideas to the public.

Why is it that women in business have such a high percent of success? It has been proven that women at work enhance productivity, they are able to bring new and different ideas to the table and are also of great aid for better solution making at hard times. Also, they contribute to bigger social solutions such as gender inclusion. 

...the higher rate of small and medium businesses created by women outside of Lima compared to men.

17% of worldwide businesses are led by women. Peru is ranked 1st within Latin America with 36% female entrepreneurs, beating Mexico, Chile and Colombia. Peru has also extended its numbers of women in business up to 44.2% in many sectors, such as independent and dependent workers. Another very interesting finding is the higher rate of small and medium businesses created by women outside of Lima compared to men. In Peru, around 53% of new companies are led by women.

Although these figures are promising, women still face many challenges, such as finding funding, being accepted and treated the same way as men at the workforce, and more specifically, there is much ignorance and setbacks when it comes to trusting women and giving them the opportunity to raise their voice and launch their business ideas.

There is still much more work to be done in order to finally reach gender equality at work. Lots of efforts are being done by the Asela (Association of Entrepreneurs in Latinamerica) AMEP (Association of Women in Business in Peru), SUP (Startups in Peru), but much more is needed to maximize opportunities for women.

This article is credited by Anneke Strobach,  a  volunteer of Female Founder Space, who lives in Peru. If you are interested in more inspiring female founders, please check out our Online Magazine.

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