June 23, 2015

More needs to be done to support female entrepreneurs, says report

Countries worldwide need to do more to help women start up businesses, according to the latest Female Entrepreneurship Index from the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute (GEDI).

The authors of the index analyzed 77 countries and allocated them a score between zero and 100, based on a range of factors that affect women’s ability to start businesses. 61% of the countries scored lower than 50.

The US, Australia, and the UK are ranked as the three countries most conducive to female entrepreneurs, followed by Denmark and the Netherlands. Chile is the best-performing South American country, with Singapore leading in Asia.

Indiana University’s Siri Terjesen, who led the study, commented: “We can clearly see that countries with greater levels of economic freedom have greater levels of high-potential female entrepreneurs.”

Among the authors’ other findings were that higher education among female entrepreneurs had increased by 9% since 2014, while the number of female-owned businesses in the technology sector had decreased by 19%.

The report suggests priorities for improvement in different regions, including access to finance in sub-Saharan Africa, women’s perception of their own skills in East Asia, and their ability to recognize local opportunities in Europe.

Hilal Atasoy has written for IZA World of Labor about the importance of fostering entrepreneurship in transition economies. She argues that: “Easing access to financing, simplifying start-up procedures, and building trust in the financial and judicial systems are among the key policies for boosting the rate of business start-ups.”

On the gender disparity among entrepreneurs, Atasoy notes that while women are less likely to start their own businesses, women who do so are equally likely to be successful as men.

The 2015 Female Entrepreneurship Index can be found here.

Related articles:
Latent entrepreneurship in transition economies by Hilal Atasoy
Entrepreneurs and their impact on jobs and economic growth by Alexander S. Kritikos

Read more articles on entrepreneurship here