Definitions, What's the difference & How calculate each

Table of Contents

What is Return on Investment (ROI)?

What is Return on Equity (ROE)?

Why are ROI and ROE important?


As a startup founder, it’s important to understand the difference between Return on Investment (ROI) and Return on Equity (ROE). While each measure of performance has its own unique use cases, they both offer insight into how well your business is doing. Let’s take a closer look at how to calculate ROI and ROE, as well as why these metrics are so important for startup founders.

What is Return on Investment?

Return on investment (ROI) gives you a sense of what you are getting in return for an investment—whether that be money, time, or resources. To calculate ROI, divide the gain from an investment by the cost of the original investment. The result will give you a percentage that indicates how much return you got from the original investment. For example, if you invested $100 and it gave you back $200, then your return was 100%, or 2x your original investment. That means your ROI was 200%.

What is Return on Equity?

Return on equity (ROE) measures profitability relative to shareholder equity. It’s a measurement of how efficiently management uses investor funds to generate profit. To calculate ROE, divide net income by total equity; this will give you a percentage that represents the amount of net income generated per dollar of shareholders' equity. For example, if you had $500 in shareholder equity and earned $50 in net income over that period, then your return would be 10%, or 0.1x your original investment. That means your ROE was 10%.

Why Are They Important?

Both measures of performance provide valuable insight into the health of your business and can help inform decisions about where to invest resources in order to optimize returns. If you have an understanding of both ROI and ROE, then it becomes easier to identify areas where investments are paying off—or not—and make changes accordingly. This kind of insight can be invaluable for startup founders who want to make sure their investments are being used as efficiently as possible – maximizing returns while minimizing costs.


Whether you’re trying to determine the best way to allocate resources or just need an overview of how your investments are performing, there’s no doubt that understanding Return on Investment (ROI) and Return on Equity (ROE) can provide valuable insights for any startup founder looking for ways to maximize their returns with minimal effort or expense involved. Knowing these key metrics is essential for any successful business owner looking to improve efficiency and profitability in their operations!

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