Women found a different way. Even if you are self-employed in a male domain. What motivates founders? The fact is, the road to becoming a successful entrepreneur is no picnic.

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Women found a different way

“So much has been written about this; Women just do it differently,” replies Antje Lezius, member of the Bundestag light annoyed when asked what entrepreneurs do better or worse than men. Lezius was the managing director of Frühauf Tanken und Rasten GmbH in Idar-Oberstein for 10 years, a real male domain. Later she gave her experiences to small and medium-sized companies Company, mainly at petrol stations, continued: She worked as a management consultant. Today, after all, she is sitting in the Bundestag for the CDU.

Her experience: “Women are more likely to recognize difficulties, speak up and seek help when things are not going well. They also see connections and act more proactively.” Just like in 1997, when the main road, on which your family business had existed for 40 years, was relocated. Lezius decided with brother and Mother without further ado, to build a new tank and rest area with bistro and shop elsewhere "larger, more modern and technically up to date". Her motto: If so invest, then right! Cost: 4,5 million marks. The credit for this was not easy to get: “Some banks didn’t trust us – not because of the Executive female was, but because we were simply much smaller before," reports the entrepreneur. Finally, she was able to convince with a sophisticated business plan, which also included a co-Financing through an oilSociety and included a fast food chain.

Acceptance problems are rare

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She rarely had serious acceptance problems with men anyway. “Although suppliers asked and customers often after the boss – and then we were amazed that it was me, but then it was OK,” she reports. Rather, the mother of two daughters sees the problem with the women themselves: “Many perfectionists believe that they have to run the company, children and household on their own instead Tasks delegate,” explains Lezius, who also had to learn how to work out shift schedules and look after the children. Another disadvantage is the lack of female self-confidence:

“We often think that we still lack specialist knowledge, instead of looking at our successes and just getting started with it Money to earn,” says the management consultant, who sees the reasons for the lower earnings of many women here: “Men simply have more experience and concentrate very much on Turnover to make while women for the same Performance often ask less.” Above all, it can help that women also support each other – according to Lezius, who, among other things, at the Business– and Professional Woman Germany eV, one Network for working women, makes you strong.

Self-confidence: Women have to be more confident

For Julika Bleil, too, success as an entrepreneur depends above all on self-confidence. "My Set I have mostly achieved. Because if I believe that something will work, I'm very convincing.", explains the managing partner of the Hamburg start-up allyve.com. From the success of Idea, a start page for various internet services with an integrated password manager, Bleil was so convinced that she and her business partner donated their well-endowed almost a year ago Adviser-Jobs at a large consulting company-Company announced: “Self-employment was my dream. I wanted to design something myself and make my own decisions instead of just promoting other people's projects," explains Bleil decision. The money for them Implementation came from an investor.

The young entrepreneur sees no difficulties in breaking into the male domain IT enforce: "Of course there are men who are not used to a boss, but you have to take the sayings lightly or show limits," she reports. On the other hand, bitching around in a snap has little Sinn “and in time she wins Expertise.” In any case, this is the advantage of the graduate industrial engineer: “People notice immediately that I am involved in the subject. This shows how important a good one is Vocational Training is."

Female strengths

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In addition, she can also use her typically female in everyday business life Power play out: “In negotiations, I first listen and try to find the right point at the decisive moment. And in Office I often smell problems in good time,” says Bleil, but does clear: “Even as a boss you have to accept that not everyone likes you.” If anything, that's the female weakness: "For women it's important who likes them, for men it's more important how successfully they are – and everyone puts theirs here priorities. "

The twenty-seven-year-old had already noticed this in the founding phase: “While my business partner tried to bring in a broad professional network of contacts who helped us a lot with information and experience, my network was more closely and personally knitted and gave me the necessary emotional support Support. ”

Cliché or reality? Women as entrepreneurs - research results

Only a third of all entrepreneurs are female, 70% of them as solo self-employed. 56% of women start up in the service sector, only 10% in the technology sector. Although female founders have a high level of education - academics are the most common - they do studieren still comparatively few women take mathematical and technical subjects. However, it is precisely theseCourses that produce proportionally more female founders.

Women start one size smaller: 86% of partnerships are female start-ups with one to two employees, while men plan six to ten employees. Female founders have lower capital requirements (20% started in 1997 with less than €2600) and invest in the running company on average by half less than men (2685 € per year). However, a third of men also start with more than €50.000 of equity – only every tenth woman. They therefore usually prefer informal sources of money (e.g. family members) to loans. The women are also more modest when it comes to fees - example IT: According to the GULP database, women charge almost two euros less per hour. This is the only way to explain the differences in income: only 35% of female entrepreneurs earned at least €2001 net per month in 1.534. One reason for the modesty could be that women like to become self-employed part-time and prefer to start a business if they are financially secure anyway through a partner.

Checklist for self-employed women

Women as entrepreneurs in a male domain usually ask many Ask. We have the most important ones in one checklist for your convenience.


Being self-employed as a woman in a male domain is still no picnic - that's impressively proven by my research.

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