International Women’s Day: METRO launches "Own Business Girl" campaign and presents study: women and own business

08 March 2018Download

On the occasion of International Women's Day, the second part of the international 'Own Business Study' commissioned by METRO examines the experiences of entrepreneurs with a focus on women. METRO also is supporting girls born March 8 in Düsseldorf with starting capital.

Update 15 March 2018:

Their names are among others Johanna, Leni, Romi, Emma, Sevgi and Lilli: Already eight girls born in Dusseldorf on World Women's Day were greeted by METRO with a special business card and receive a starting capital of 2,000 euros, which they can access from their 18th birthday. The search for the "Own Business Girls" continues: Until March 31, family and friends can contact and announce the birth of their newborn girl.

  • On the occasion of International Women's Day, the second part of the international "Own Business Study" commissioned by METRO examines the experiences of entrepreneurs with a focus on women
  • Only 12 percent of women who expressed interest in starting their own business, believe it is very likely that they will indeed dare to take this step
  • METRO launches "Own Business Girls" campaign and, together with the HypoVereinsbank, is assisting all girls born in Düsseldorf on March 8, 2018 - International Women's Day - with a special business card: 2,000 euros worth of starting capital

Almost one in two women (45 percent) dreams of starting their own business, but only 12 percent believe that they will realize this ambition. This is the result of the second part of the international "Own Business Study" conducted by METRO in ten countries among 10,000 interviewees. According to the study, the biggest obstacle is a lack of financial support (49 percent), followed by the given country's economic situation (43 percent), tax burden (29 percent) and too much bureaucracy (28 percent).

"There are still too many barriers that keep women from realizing their business ideas. This comes at a significant cost to the economic development," says Heiko Hutmacher, Chief Human Resources Officer at METRO AG. For this reason, on the occasion of International Women's Day on March 8, 2018 METRO is blazing a trail for female entrepreneurship, and is launching its "Own Business Girls" campaign. Every girl born on this day in the city of Düsseldorf – where METRO AG has its headquarters – will receive her first own business card each worth of 2,000 euros of starting capital which will be invested in a fixed term deposit with 2% interest rate per year. Partner der Aktion, as a springboard to professional independence. METRO's campaign partner is the HypoVereinsbank, a member of the UniCredit Group. On turning 18, the girls will have access to the money and can lay the cornerstone for their future. "With our campaign we want to motivate the next generation of female entrepreneurs. The business cards and the associated starting capital are our promise to support entrepreneurial women and help them to be successful on their way to their own businesses," Heiko Hutmacher says.

With "Own Business Girls" METRO is also drawing attention to other study findings: Over the course of their careers, many female business owners are confronted with a number of challenges such as deeply ingrained stereotypes. More than half (56 percent) of all interviewed female business owners fear that women can be treated unfairly in business, because others assume they are less knowledgeable and not tough enough.

The study furthermore shows that there is a great need for government-run programs to foster female entrepreneurship: 80 percent of interviewees, both male and female, are in favour of government programs that will help female entrepreneurs to realize their goals. "It is encouraging that so many people show support for new initiatives that foster female entrepreneurship. Policy-makers in particular need to take notice and put more focus on building up female entrepreneurs," says Heiko Hutmacher, adding: "We hope that the results of this study help to bring about a meaningful dialogue with stakeholders in business, society and politics. Understanding the barriers and finding new ways to overcome them is very much necessary." All of the study findings are available online at

Here's how the 'Own Business Girls'-campaign works: Family members of girls born in the city of Düsseldorf on International Women's Day 2018 – such as parents, grandparents, aunts or siblings - can simply send an e-mail to

The person getting in contact with METRO should include the following information in their e-mail: their first name, surname, telephone number, e-mail address and their relationship with the child. METRO will then be in touch with further details. To be eligible, girls must be born in the city of Düsseldorf between midnight on March 7 and midnight on March 8 2018. Registrations for "Own Business Girls" can be submitted until March 31 2018. METRO will subsequently publish the babies' first names. Parents who apply for the start capital consent to this publication. Further information and all terms & conditions on the campaign can be found after March 8 under:


1 In August and September 2017 METRO interviewed 10,000 people in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, Czech Republic, Romania, Turkey, Russia and China. The ‘Own Business study’ was published as part of the second Own Business Day initiated by METRO that takes places worldwide every year on the second Tuesday in October.

METRO is a leading international specialist in wholesale and food retail. The company operates in 35 countries and employs more than 150,000 people worldwide. In financial year 2016/17, METRO generated sales of around €37 billion. The company provides custom solutions to meet the regional and international needs of its wholesale and retail customers. With its sales brands METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry and Real as well as delivery services and digitalisation initiatives METRO sets the standards for tomorrow: for customer focus, digital solutions and sustainable business models.