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International Women's Entrepreneurship Day

Start by WGSN exists to boost and inspire small fashion businesses – that's why we’re highlighting International Women's Entrepreneurship Day and emphasizing the importance of a date that celebrates an increasingly relevant theme.

How did this date, so important for the entrepreneurial world, come about?

Women's Entrepreneurship Day, celebrated on November 19, emerged in 2014. It was initiated by Wendy Diamond, a North American author and entrepreneur, who inaugurated the philanthropic event at the UN to provide a platform to women entrepreneurs and create a chain of support around the world. It was made official in New York, where 144 nations officially recognized the event that is now celebrated and discussed worldwide, with the partnership of dozens of institutions globally to support entrepreneurs every year on November 19.

Women in the fashion market

According to a survey done on, women currently dominate 36% of small businesses around the world and 47% started their businesses in the last year, compared to 44% of men. Fashion, despite having been largely aimed at the female audience since its inception and having a predominantly female workforce, has a majority male leadership in its market. In this area, so far, only 14% of businesses are led by women – a scenario that has changed with speed in recent years.

Female entrepreneurship during the pandemic

Despite the big difference in the market, women-led businesses are growing much faster. According to Forbes, 42% of companies in the United States are led by women and in 2020 more women started a business compared to men. Even with this big step, several obstacles hinder the process of leading an enterprise when it comes to women, from government limitations to the greater difficulty in getting loans or financing to start their businesses. But this should not prevent us from imposing our demands for women to occupy a larger space in the industry.

Statistics also show that businesses created by women, regardless of field, tend to deliver a higher profit than those founded by men. Women of color and Latinas occupy a larger space among female entrepreneurs, with a 164% growth of African American women leaders alone from 2007 to 2019. This leads us to understand that entrepreneurship has long since ceased to be something strictly male and there needs to be a greater investment in women-led businesses as the return can be excellent.

The importance of this theme

It is important to pay attention so that the discussion on the topic is not confined to that date specifically, since its relevance makes it important throughout the year. It is with different initiatives, discussions and tools that we can, more than celebrate, effectively support and strengthen female entrepreneurship around the world.

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