Author: Metro Team

Every Female Business Owner is Unique

07 March 2019
A Study on Women and Business Ownership

Just in time for the International Women's Day 2019, METRO is examining the situation of female entrepreneurs.

METRO’s purpose is to be the champion for independent business. Therefore, we stand up for business owners and their needs. On International Women’s Day, we want to celebrate female business owners across the globe. Their success is vital for the diversity and dynamism of our communities. Our study shows that, while everyone has their own individual motivations, hopes and challenges, there are some things female business owners share – and this can encourage others – male and female - to become business owners themselves.

Philippe Palazzi, COO of METRO AG

Whitepaper Englisch Zahlen Deutschland

In light of the International Women’s Day on March 8, 2019, METRO has used the second international “METRO Own Business Study” to critically examine the situation of female entrepreneurs. The results reflect what motivates women to make the step towards self-employment and what obstacles they have to face along the way. The study was conducted in 10 countries, a total of 10,000 people were surveyed.  Respondents came from Germany, France, India, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, the Czech Republic and Turkey – all countries in which METRO operates as a wholesaler.

The international comparison brings to light surprising results: For instance, 80% of female German entrepreneurs are upwards of 45 years old. The 10-countries-comparison shows: Among all respondents, this share makes up only 51%. But the younger generation has much to offer – as shown by Christa Eickenscheidt, who took over her parents’ “Restaurant Wetterkamp” in Castrop-Rauxel. “It was time for something to change”, she commented on this generational transition. Following the change in the restaurant’s ownership, she reassessed the menu, the prices and the interior – and finally decided to explore the potential of digital tools in the hospitality business. This goes to show: When new female entrepreneurs take over, unused potential is unleashed as well.

In view of this, METRO wants to support entrepreneurs and their business ideas. With our own start-up incubator METRO Accelerator we are contributing to the promotion of tomorrow’s generation of founders. What is more, we are advocating for facilitated financing opportunities for budding entrepreneurs towards German politics. After all, the study shows that raising the funds can be quite the challenge: 32% of female entrepreneurs perceived this phase as the biggest hurdle to jump when pursuing their business venture.

Where the reconciliation of family and career is concerned, the study shows once more that Germany has some catching up to do: The international comparison finds that 65% are both mother and business owner – in Germany that group makes up a mere 44%! These numbers present German politics with a clear assignment: Not only entrepreneurs, but all working mothers would stand to benefit from flexible child care options.

Thus: METRO will celebrate the 108. International Women’s Day – our work, however, is not yet done.


Dream and Reality

According to the German Start-Up Monitor 2018, the share of women among German start-up founders amounts to only 15,1%. A glance at our respondents in the 10-countries-comparison shows that many women dream of the independence that owning a business brings – though only few believe that it’s very likely this dream will come true.

Map English

Find all materials available for download here:

Germany: Profile of a Female Entrepreneur
Germany: Profile of a Female Entrepreneur
World Map of Results
World Map of Results
10-Country-Comparison: Profile of a Female Entrepreneur
10-Country-Comparison: Profile of a Female Entrepreneur