Special Report: Women’s Entrepreneurship

Report by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 2015

Globally, the rates of women’s participation in early-stage entrepreneurship activities have increased by 7% since 2012. The ratio of entrepreneurial intentions among women and men in North America is 13:20 (0.65), compared to the GEM average of 22:29 (0.76). High rates of participation are associated with visibility of mentors and role models, perceptions about opportunities, and perceptions about personal capability.

While women are equally as likely as men to recognizes opportunities, gender gaps emerge in self perceived capabilities and fear of failure. Environmental conditions such as implicit and overt biases impact participation as well as growth of women-owned businesses. The report suggested that increasing visibility and access to role models, mentors, and programs that enhance skills and competencies can help overcome these barriers.

Access to financing at both start-up and growth states remains a challenge globally, with specific focus on financing the transition from small to medium-sized businesses where traditional lending processes and biases within these systems impact women’s success. Women entrepreneurs operate most predominantly in the consumer-oriented sectors which are easier to break to into but generally harder to grow in because of high competition (68% women, 45% men, and greater male participation in extractive, transforming, and business services sectors).

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