Breaking Down Startup Stereotypes

Written by Nicola Hazell on the 22nd of December, 2016

Share this article on social:

Australia’s aspiring female startup founders are not letting a lack of tech skills prevent them from getting started, according to a snapshot report BlueChilli released in partnership with LinkedIn.

Following our national campaign to find, fund and accelerate ten female-led startups to take part in SheStarts, the team at LinkedIn conducted data analysis across almost 400 applicants who provided LinkedIn profiles.

The LinkedIn analysis sought to identify key trends and characteristics among the large group female entrepreneurs who applied for SheStarts, revealing the following key findings:

Diverse skills and education…

  • More than 60% have completed a Bachelor’s Degree, with Marketing and Accounting identified as the top two fields of study.
  • 25% of founders have studied overseas, with an average of two educational institutions listed among all participants.
  • Marketing, Leadership, Strategy and Project Management are the top skills listed among applicants.

Female founders are juggling…

• 40% of applicants are juggling more than one job while launching their startup.

They come from everywhere…

• Australia’s aspiring female entrepreneurs come from all over the country and overseas, with the highest concentration of applicants from Sydney, followed by Melbourne and Brisbane.

Highly networked & globally connected…

  • Applicants have more than double the number of connections of the average Australian LinkedIn user.
  • 99% have international connections, with the average applicant listing more than 20 connections overseas.

We need to change the face of startups, to tap into the diverse talents of female entrepreneurs across Australia. It’s a key step toward gender equality, and the opportunity to build a more diverse, inclusive and thriving startup economy.

Less than one in four startup founders in Australia are women, and when you look at those attracting investment, the stats are as low as 4 per cent. By understanding more about what drives, inspires and prepares female entrepreneurs to get started, we can improve the way we engage and support them right across the ecosystem.

“We are really excited to support the SheStarts program by utilising our data to uncover insights around skills, knowledge and connectivity of female entrepreneurs in Australia” said Cliff Rosenberg, Managing Director, Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia for LinkedIn.

“Our data shows that these women entrepreneurs are relying more on their soft skills rather than tech skills to kick-start their business.

“It emphasises the importance of ‘soft skills’ not just ‘hard skills’ being key for entrepreneurs to build a successful business.”

The ten startups selected to receive funding and a spot in our SheStarts program represent the diversity of Australia’s female entrepreneurs, with the founders coming from four different states (NSW, VIC, TAS, SA), and reflecting a diverse age range, education and cultural backgrounds.

Their startups also span a broad range of industries, with ideas including Health-tech using wearables and iBeacon technologies, Agri-tech and digital currency solutions using blockchain, Enviro-tech using big data aggregation, and Media-tech using sentiment analysis

These are the women to watch in 2017, as they launch their game-changing startups and take their products and services to the world. What’s more, the hundreds of women who applied to SheStarts are all now part of vibrant community, with a growing number of pathways for them to choose to develop their ideas and build their businesses.

By providing access to early-stage funding, support, networks and training we can boost female entrepreneurs’ chances of success, so they can go on to be great role-models for millions of women and girls across Australia.