Dubai: Female entrepreneurs in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are more confident about raising capital for their businesses than their global peers, according to new research from HSBC Private Banking.
HSBC Private Banking’s ‘She’s the Business’ report reveals that 67 per cent of female business owners surveyed in the UAE and Saudi Arabia feel confident when raising funds, ahead of the global average of 60 per cent.
HSBC Private Banking commissioned study to explore the challenges facing female entrepreneurs when seeking investment. The research was conducted among more than 1,200 entrepreneurs in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the US.
The HSBC study showed women in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are also likely to have invested slightly more of their own money $138,000) in their businesses than their male counterparts ($132,000) According to the study women in the region take 9.8 months on average to raise capital, while women in other global regions take 8.4 months. However, female entrepreneurs are slightly less likely to be rejected for capital than their male counterparts.
When going through the pitch process, almost a third of female entrepreneurs pitch to panels of all or mostly men (32 per cent) and only 8 per cent pitch to mostly or all-women panels.
The study showed, a third of female entrepreneurs (31 per cent in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, experience gender bias when securing capital, close to the global average of 35 per cent The particular manifestations of gender bias were around the level of questioning around risk in their business and financial plan (44 per cent) and lack of questioning around potential gains or upsides in their business plan (31 per cent). For male entrepreneurs, the figures were lower, at 25 per cent and 8 per cent respectively.
“This report highlights the challenges female entrepreneurs face in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Working in a very competitive market and having to contend with gender bias concerns is a tough environment to evolve in. However, I am pleased to see some good headway in the region, with high levels of confidence and strong success rates when raising capital,” said Sobhi Tabbara, Global Market Head, MENA, HSBC Private Banking.
Female entrepreneurs in the UAE and Saudi Arabia identified preparation key to a successful pitch, with 37 per cent wishing they had done more scenario and future risk planning, more preparation (31 per cent) and developed clearer financial projections/sensitivities (31 per cent).