MicroBank encourages 24 women from Rioja to start their own businesses

A total of 24 women started businesses with MicroBank financing in La Rioja in 2023, an increase of 20 percent compared to the previous year. In Spain as a whole, the number of entrepreneurs who received MicroBank support rose to 5,723 women, a 60 percent increase. In total, the social bank CaixaBank issued loans to entrepreneurs worth 373,000 euros in La Rioja and 85.1 million euros in Spain, an increase of 12 percent and 73 percent, respectively. The average amount of loans to women in 2023 in La Rioja was €15,535.

The data shows an increase in the number of women who have decided to start a business thanks to MicroBank financing. 54% of entrepreneurs applied for a microcredit to open a new business.

As for the profile of women entrepreneurs, according to a study by MicroBank in collaboration with Stone Soup Consulting and KPMG, 44 percent of women are between the ages of 36 and 49, compared to 32 percent of male entrepreneurs. 64 years and 18 percent between 26 and 35 years.

Regarding the level of education, still 65 percent of women who decide to start a business do not have higher education, which is slightly lower than 76 percent in 2022. However, in the total group of entrepreneurs with higher education, women make up 48 percent, which illustrates the gender gap. balance in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in this particular aspect.

As for the motivation of women for entrepreneurial activity, the main one is the discovery of a business opportunity (38 percent), followed by the desire to gain independence (26 percent), a vocation (16 percent), unemployment or fear of losing a job (8 percent). ), need for higher income (6 percent), family business (3 percent), and lack of work (2 percent).

In the cross-section of the branches of retail trade, women entrepreneurs are mainly chosen (36 percent), men – 17 percent; professional services (34 percent), compared to 45 percent of men; hotel business and restaurants (21 percent) against 20 percent of entrepreneurs; and manufacturing (5 percent), compared to 2 percent for men. On the other hand, new technology (2 percent), construction (1 percent) and the primary sector (1 percent) are the sectors least chosen by women when it comes to entrepreneurship.

The study also highlights that women tend to hire women when they create jobs, with 62 percent compared to 41 percent of men, so entrepreneur-led companies have a positive impact on women’s employment opportunities.

“At MicroBank, we work to develop entrepreneurship, and it is a great pleasure to see that the number of women who succeed in developing their businesses thanks to our financing continues to grow,” explains Cristina González, CEO of MicroBank. “We will continue to support women, knowing that their projects create employment, wealth and prosperity,” she adds.

It is in the area of ​​supporting entrepreneurs that MicroBank has specific cooperation agreements, such as the cooperation agreement signed with the Women’s Institute through the Women’s Business Support Program (PAEM), which is developed through the Chambers of Commerce. Since the agreement came into effect, almost 1,400 women have received support under this program, and the funding amounted to 24.5 million euros.

As part of the various activities that MicroBank carries out to support women’s entrepreneurship, the social bank will spend a day with women to analyze the challenges, expectations and challenges they faced in promoting their own businesses. The meeting will also look at their potential training and support needs and provide ‘digital skills’ training to improve their skills.

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