"Not everything that counts can be counted; and not everything that can be counted counts." Albert Einstein
Getting to the facts about women and startups, entrepreneurs and social enterprises is a work-in-progress and some of the most important pieces of data may not be collected.. Chooks is committed to getting to the bottom of some of those pieces of data, finding out what they reveal, using that information to unlock, build capability and capacity to enable more women to bring their intellect, gifts and resources to the startup ecosystem - and make a difference to our world. The stories behind the data may hold some secrets and open up new lines of enquiry and action.
Start Up Muster is a good place to begin to find out the basic data on who start ups are going in Australia. This annual survey has gathered together key facts from surveying the entire start up ecosystem - founders, investors, government, partners. This week I got to talk to Monica Wulff, co-founder and CEO of Start Up Muster and she has some new ideas up her sleeve for this year's audit. Making women visible through data is one way to shine a light on the gender gap in investment and also bring a gender lens to some of the issues.
I was particularly drawn to one fact in the 2016 report and am curious to dig into the detail behind it. The fact is : 27.9% of respondents said having a supportive partner or spouse enabled them to take the step towards founding a startup. I am curious about the gender differential behind this number. I am interested to find out what does support from a partner or spouse look like? Is it emotional support like encouragement or empathy? Is it financial support - bootstrapping from the household income, or mortgaging a home, or working extra hours themselves to cover living expenses? Is it practical support like making lunch, offering extra hours in child care, bringing in extra home help? Is it administrative help in the business - answering calls, setting up appointments, being a de facto PA?
If you have founded a start up, or thinking about founding, what support are you finding the most helpful from a partner or spouse or your closest friends and allies? How does their love for you take shape in helping you kickstart your enterprise? We'd love to hear about those features as this part of the ecosystem is often invisible.