Women’s Entrepreneurship Report

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2016/2017

September saw the publication of Global Entrepreneurship Monitor's (GEM) 2016/2017 report on women’s entrepreneurship, compiled by Babson College, Universidad del Desarrollo, Smith College, Korea Entrepreneurship Foundation (KEF), Universiti Tun Abdul Razak (UNIRAZAK) and Tecnológico de Monterrey.

The report indicates that Total Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) among women has increased by 10% since 2015, narrowing the gender gap by 5%. So, in the last year, 163 million women started a business in one of 74 markets throughout the world, while 111 million women were already managing their own company.

According to the data in the report:

  • There is an inverse relationship between entrepreneurship, income level and educational attainment: the higher the income level, the lower women’s rate of entrepreneurship. It is the same with educational attainment so, in most Latin American economies, less than a third of women entrepreneurs have secondary education or higher; the proportion is much lower in Guatemala and Brazil; where only 4% and 6%, respectively, have secondary education or higher.
  • Latin America is the region with the lowest growth forecasts, and where the gender gap is widest, with estimated growth of women’s entrepreneurship at 17%, compared to an estimated 60% for men’s entrepreneurship.
  • The ages with the greatest rate of entrepreneurship are between 25 and 34 years old, followed by the 35 to 44 age segment.
  • There is a generalized reluctance to create jobs. Hiring estimates for the next 5 years are very low, representing a loss of opportunities and potential improvement in the work/life balance.

Finally, the report states that despite the upward trend in women’s entrepreneurship, there are still challenges ahead. Among them, the motivation factor, and business continuity. Currently, need prevails over opportunity when taking the decision to create a company and the survival rate of women’s businesses is lower than those of men.

As a conclusion to these results the GEM 2016/2017 report proposes that there should be specialized women’s entrepreneurship programs, that should include factors to encourage a good work/life balance, training programs and measures to enable access to capital and education.