10 October 2019

Women entrepreneurs winning equal slice of SG capital funding

**Singapore presents one of the world’s toughest markets for entrepreneur funding**
**41% of Singapore-based female entrepreneurs encounter gender bias when pitching**
**Despite this, 41% of women secured funding - almost at par with men**


Despite there being tighter levels of liquidity and perceptions of gender bias in the pitch process, Singapore-based female entrepreneurs are achieving the same funding success as men - more than many other major markets, new HSBC research finds.

HSBC Private Banking commissioned ‘She’s The Business’, to understand barriers facing female entrepreneurs during the investment process.  The survey polled more than 1,200 entrepreneurs in 8 markets across Asia, Europe, US and Middle East, including 151 from Singapore.

Singapore sets a high hurdle for financing

Amongst respondents from the surveyed markets, Singapore-based entrepreneurs face one of the highest hurdles when it comes to securing capital with 59% having been rejected for funding – the second highest after Hong Kong (68%).

The lower success for funding in Singapore is most likely linked to the availability of liquidity. The latest data provided by the Singapore Venture Capital & Private Equity Association highlights that, in 2018 alone, Venture Capital and Private Investment fundraising in Southeast Asia (with majority in Singapore) was US$1.8billion - a fraction of the US$80billion in Asia and US$459billion globally1.

Singapore-based female entrepreneurs see gender as a factor in fund decision-making

Compounding this, the HSBC research indicates that 41% of female entrepreneurs in Singapore have experienced gender bias when attempting to raise capital for their business, particularly when asked about their credibility and personal circumstances. This ranks higher than Hong Kong (31%) but lower than international markets such as the UK (54%) and US (46%).

Despite this, female entrepreneurs in Singapore are getting equal funding: preparation key

Knowing the obstacles, 93% of female entrepreneurs in Singapore sought advice ahead of the pitching process to feel as prepared as possible.  Perhaps as a result of this preparation, 54% of women in Singapore secured the total funding they sought which was on par with men (56%), making it the most gender-neutral market for business capital raising globally with the exception of Hong Kong (UK female entrepreneurs 57% / UK male entrepreneurs 63% and USA female entrepreneurs 55% / male entrepreneurs 63%).

Siew Meng Tan, Regional Head, Asia Pacific at HSBC Global Private Banking, explains the findings: “The report raises the question of whether business capital funding in Singapore is simply a tough but gender-agnostic market or are Singapore-based female entrepreneurs forcing gender parity when it comes to funding. Either way, the report reflects my experience of Singapore-based female entrepreneurs as being tenacious, committed and meticulously prepared. The fact that Singapore is demonstrating gender parity when securing capital bodes well for the country.”


For further findings from She’s the Business, visit: www.privatebanking.hsbc.com and download the report

Gender bias: Female entrepreneurs in Singapore experience gender bias through being asked explicit personal questions such as their family circumstance and credibility.

About the research: The research was conducted by Kantar and Savanta between June 2019 – July 2019 and includes the views of over 1,200 entrepreneurs in eight markets, as well as in-depth entrepreneur and investor interviews.  The respondents were a) major shareholders and active decision makers in a privately owned business and b) who had secured or are in the process of securing £100,000 capital, excluding self-funding or via friends and family. The research covered mainland China, France, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, UK, the United Arab Emirates, and the USA.

1 SVCA Factsheet 2019