Women entrepreneurs are reaching back to pull others up with them, this study finds. (Credit: rawpixel.comPxHere)

One big motivating factor for women entrepreneurs? Creating more women entrepreneurs.

That’s according to a new survey that polled over 1,000 women founders as to their reasons for starting up. A third of respondents – 33 percent – said that they wanted to inspire other women by launching and scaling their own ventures, Talker reports.

And that’s in large part because they, themselves, were inspired by women in their lives, as 75 percent of study participants credited women mentors for their successes.

Women of color were particularly driven by this goal, the survey – commissioned by Office Depot – indicates. In fact, 82 percent of the women of color asked said that they wanted to show other potential women entrepreneurs that it’s possible to beat the odds and thrive.

The Covid-19 pandemic has only fueled this fire, with 61 percent of those starting up in the past 2 years citing it as another significant factor in their decision to launch. “The growing number of women who have turned their passion projects into successful small businesses is incredible,” Zoë Maloney, executive vice president of The ODP Corporation, which owns Office Depot, said.

Of course, women business owners still face numerous hurdles along their startup journeys, most of them money-related. Lack of funding and difficulties scaling accounted for 79 percent of the top challenges cited by the women polled.

That said, 81 percent still view entrepreneurship as a positive experience – one they still want other women to have.

Maloney added, “Seeing female entrepreneurs come together to empower and mentor one another while developing the next generation of powerful female leaders is so inspiring and impactful.”