Nearly half of Germany’s social social enterprises are women-led, according to a recent survey published by the Social Entrepreneurship Netzwerk Deutschland (SEND) and Otto von Guericke University.
The annual survey, called the German Social Entrepreneurship Monitor, found that 46.7% of the country’s social-impact businesses were founded by women, far outpacing women-led businesses in the mainstream sector. The survey polled 212 social enterprises in Germany, although the country is home to as many as 500,00, according to Pioneers Post. But SEND chair Markus Sauerhammer told the digital publication that the survey’s findings reflect his own experience in the field.
One example of a female-founded social enterprise in Germany: Original Unverpackt, which operates a supermarket dedicated to the zero-waste lifestyle, offering only organic, natural and sustainable products. Milena Glimbovski launched Original Unverpackt in 2012 with financing through a crowdfunding campaign. The company also publishes OU Magazine, which focuses on sustainable topics related to nutrition, lifestyle, society, the environment and reducing waste.
According to the survey, 84% of the entrepreneurs polled said their product or service is a first in the market. Additionally, 83.5% said achieving social impact is more important to them than making a profit, and 81.6% “reinvest their profits primarily for the purpose of their own organization instead of distributing the profits for private purposes,” SEND reports.
Ninety-four percent of the survey respondents said they take sustainability into account in their supply chains.