When Japanese crowdfunding site ReadyFor? launched, it did so amid federal legislation viewed by opponents as against gender equality. But according to Friday (Jan. 8) reports in Financial Times, the platform has seen unlikely attention by the very demographic challenged by recent government rulings.
Women now make up half of the entrepreneurs that are seeking small business funding through ReadyFor?, according to reports, despite Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe facing allegations of what some are calling his “womenomics program.”
[bctt tweet="Women now make up 1/2 of the entrepreneurs seeking funding through ReadyFor?"]
Reports added that half of the funding provided through the platform, founded by a female entrepreneur herself, also comes from women.
For Aiko Okawara, who founded the Japan chapter of the WomenCorporateDirectors group, crowdfunding is attractive to a generation of women who are no longer clamoring for acceptance among the male-dominated ties in corporate business.
“The thing that was most lacking was the training required to set up companies; it has never traditionally been given to women,” Okawara told the publication. “Making a small crowdfunded project is the best training ground.”
The platform, launched by Founder Haruka Mera, was designed as a judgment-free site for people looking to raise money for their professional ambitions, reports said. It has also demonstrated the ability for crowdfunding to offer female business owners another route to success.
According to Mera, most of the female entrepreneurs seeking funding on the platform are in their 30s and 40s, coming from a generation that saw these women leave their jobs for maternity leave and were not offered those positions again.
And while reports said traditional banks are slowly opening their wallets to female business owners, recent regulations have become roadblocks in women’s efforts to get ahead in the business world.
For instance, the government slashed earlier quotas that had planned for companies to fill 30 percent of their senior-level positions with women by 2020, according to reports. Japan is also still feeling the impact from previous rules, now reformed, that required female business owners to have their businesses guaranteed by men.