As woman-owned businesses become more prevalent, it's safe to say that the gender gap among entrepreneurs is closing. However, a new study found that male and female entrepreneurs are still not exactly equal. Small business insurer Hiscox recently surveyed U.S. entrepreneurs and revealed some key differences between male and female business owners in terms of their businesses' growth rates, working hours and social media use.
Hiscox's results indicate that, while female business owners do generate strong sales results, their male counterparts are reporting slightly higher numbers. Male survey respondents saw 5 percent more growth in revenue and new customers compared with female respondents over the last 12 months, and 32 percent of male respondents said they plan to hire new staff in the coming year, compared with 15 percent of female respondents.
Female entrepreneurs seemed to take the lead in work-life balance: 34 percent reported that they worked an average of 29 or fewer hours per week, with the same percentage of male respondents working an average of 40 to 49 hours per week. Hiscox believes this trend stems from a difference in entrepreneurial motivation between men and women. More than two-thirds (70 percent) of female participants said they started their businesses to gain flexibility in working hours; 60 percent of males became entrepreneurs to escape the bureaucracy of larger companies.
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The Hiscox survey also found a stark difference in social media practices between male and female business owners. Nearly half of female respondents said they use social media for all aspects of business operations, from communicating with customers to launching marketing and public relations initiatives. Men, on the other hand, only reported more social media use than women for hiring and recruitment (18 percent versus 7 percent).
The study was based on the responses of 500 U.S.-based owners of small and medium-size businesses, and was conducted for Hiscox by The Survey Shop.