GRB Examples

Gender analysis of Start-up promotions in the City of Munich

In the context of a Gender Responsive Budgeting pilot project, the City of Munich in Germany carried out gender analysis of different programmes in the context of the Munich Business Development Fund. One of these was a business start-up promotion programme, the Munich Fund. This is a promotion programme focusing on small business start-ups. The activites include includes consultation measures (information, creation of awareness, motivation and mobilisation), as well as education and coaching. A major component within the promotion of business start-ups is the support concerning the raising of capital. The Munich Fund contributes here: loans up to a maximum amount of Euro 50,000.- are given by the city savings bank at usual conditions and the City of Munich assumes 70% of the liability for the amount of loan.

Questions used in the analyses: How well is the fund reaching both potential business women and business men? Are there differences in how successful women compared to men are in start-up of businesses? How is programme funding being distributed between women and men?

Gender equality objectives defined: Equal access to seed capital for start-up businesswomen and businessmen.

The Methods of analyses was a combination of external audit, evaluation of labour market data, evaluation of documents, interviewing experts active in promotion programmes, interviewing the start-up businesswomen and businessmen. Main data was taken from the financial statements of the Munich Fund and the city savings bank that was given the loans to the start-ups.


During the year analysed, all in all 102 persons received support from the Fund (39% women and 61% men). The below data shows analysis of how well they succeeded in starting a business (see table 1). 12% of the women and 29% of the men gave up their business in the meantime. 5% of the female and 21% of the male founders were not able to return their loan. The profit margin achieved by the female entrepreneurs amounts to 12% in the first year and that achieved by the male entrepreneurs amounts to 9%. 57% of the female founders and 50% of the male ones were able to live on their profits already one year after the start-up.

Table 1. Sex-disaggregated analysis of Munich Fund

Indicators Women Men
Number % Number %
 Persons that receive support including:  40  39 62 61
 – persons that gave up their business  5 12 18 29
 – persons that were not able to return the loan 2 5 13 21

The gender-disaggregated analysis revealed that, under the same scheme, higher per-capita costs accrued the City of Munich from the support to men, because the defaulted the loan more often and furthermore, their loans were higher on average. The costs accruing from the assumption of liability amounted to 4.520 Euro per start-up businessman and to about 1.000 Euro per start-up businesswoman.

From the other hand, data that was available for about 26 of the still ongoing 40 start-ups concerning the development of turnover and profits showed that the businesses run by men had a higher average in turnover and achieve higher profits during the first two years than those of female founders (see table 2). However, the return on sales was considerably higher for female founders (12%) than for male founders (9%). Analyses showed that 57% of the female applicants and 50% of the male ones were able to live on their profits already one year after the start-up.

Table 2. Turnover and profit after one and after two years, by sex (indicated are the average values in euro)

Indicators Average value

Female founders

Average value

Male founders

Loan approved 29.410 30.780
Turnover after one year 138.570 364.725
Total turnover of two first years 269.000 691.710
Profit after one year 16.715 32.785
Total profit of the first two years 35.000 63.275
Return on sales 12% 9%

Also, as the analyses showed that men’s failure rate was higher than women’s, for efficient use of funds the reasons for this should be further investigated, so the program could better support men in establishing their own business. What was achieved through gender budgeting? The outcome of the analysis suggested that it is necessary to reform the scheme and especially to review the selection process. The main criteria for a decision concerning the promotion of start-ups are above all a significant and convincing business plan, a promising personality as well as the financial background of the applicant. It seems that the selection was biased in favour of men, allowing for more projects with worse perspectives being supported from men than from women. Possibly, the criteria of “a promising personality” was influenced by gender norms of what a “promising businessmen” looks like and men fit more that image than women. This possible influence of gender norms came at high cost for the City of Munich. Thus an improvement of the selection process helped to use the funds more effectively by reducing the number of loan defaults.

Another conclusion was to support more women. This was, on the one hand, indicated by the fact that the rate of self-employed women is 6 per cent as compared with a rate of 12 per cent for men, a sign of untapped potential. Moreover, the women in the analysed random sample demonstrated more sustainability after start-up, which implied more efficient use of public funds.

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