Gender Inequality is Still An Issue: Updates on How Social Enterprise Can Help

Women’s empowerment efforts have come a long way in the last few years. The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative from The World Bank was launched in July, pledging $1 billion to invest in women-led/focused enterprises, and research tells us that businesses started by women report 13% higher revenues. However, amidst the progress made, there still appears to be a harrowing amount of gender inequality in business, according to The British Council’s women’s empowerment report.


The British Council is an international organization in the UK building trust, connection and cultural understanding between the UK and other countries, by facilitating a healthy exchange of knowledge and making a positive contribution to solving social issues. Their Global Social Enterprise program works to support social entrepreneurs and advance the sector of social enterprise through research and informative reports.


The women’s empowerment report, commissioned by The British Council and conducted by Social Impact Consulting in partnership with Social Enterprise Alliance (and the Twin Cities chapter), takes an in-depth look into the state of gender inequality in the United States, and how social enterprise can be a tool for lasting change.


Their research found these striking statistics, among others:

  • There are only 10 countries where the same amount of women as men start businesses
  • Only 4% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women.
  • Organizations targeting gender equality are underfunded
  • 56% of women in the U.S. said they’ve run into barriers running their social enterprise because of their gender
  • The U.S. has the highest gap in pay between men and women in social enterprise


The report outlines that these gender gaps are still present in the field of social enterprise, but research shows the sector is a high contender for creating an equal playing field. Download the report to read new statistics on the positive effects of social enterprise, discover the top four ways social enterprise is empowering women, learn about organizations taking action — including members MADE by DWC and Women’s Bean Project — and specific things your organization could be doing to contribute to leveling the playing field and providing opportunity for women and girls.


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