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Entrepreneurship at a Glance 2012
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branch II. Entrepreneurship Indicators
branch 7. Women Entrepreneurship
    branch Employers and own-account workers by gender

The relatively low rates of entrepreneurial activity among women represent a key concern for policy, since they signal a clear under-utilisation of entrepreneurial human capital. It is informative for policy makers to have distinct information on women and men employers (self-employed who employ others) and women and men own-account workers (self-employed working on their own). The first category is more likely to represent entrepreneurs.

Definition

The number of women employers is given by the number of women who report a professional status of "self-employed with employees" in population surveys. The number of women own-account workers is given by the number of women who report a professional status of "self-employed without employees" . The share of women employers is given by the number of women employers over the total number of employed women. The share of women own-account workers is given by the number of women own-account workers over the total number of employed women. The same indicators are calculated for self-employed men.

Self-employment jobs are those "jobs where the remuneration is directly dependent upon the profits (or the potential for profits) derived from the goods and services produced (where own consumption is considered to be part of profits). The incumbents make the operational decisions affecting the enterprise, or delegate such decisions while retaining responsibility for the welfare of the enterprise" (15th ILO Conference of Labour Statisticians, January 1993). Both unincorporated and incorporated self-employed women and men are included when the information is available.

 

Comparability

The main comparability issue relates to the classification of the incorporated self-employed. While in official statistics of most OECD countries, the self-employed who incorporated their businesses are counted as self-employed, in some countries such as Australia and the United States they are counted as employees. To improve international comparability, the number of incorporated employers and own-account workers in the United States was estimated, using information on the percentage of incorporated self-employed men and women who have employees, available for 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2005 from the Contingent and Alternative Work Arrangements Surveys. For the missing years between 1996 and 2004, this percentage has been derived through linear interpolation. For the years 2006 to 2011, the percentage for 2005 has been used.

Highlights

Women are significantly under-represented in the population of employers. The gender differences are relatively lower when looking at the population of own-account workers. In Europe and in the United States, the number of women employers has remained stable over the last decade, while the number of men employers has been slightly decreasing.

 
Source/online databases

Current Population Survey (United States), www.census.gov/cps/.

Economically Active Population Survey (Korea), http://kostat.go.kr/portal/english/news/1/2/index.board.

Encuesta Nacional del Empleo (Chile), www.ine.cl/boletines/detalle.php?id=2&lang=.

Encuesta National de Empleo (Mexico), www.inegi.org.mx/est/contenidos/proyectos/encuestas/hogares/default.aspx.

Eurostat Labour Force Surveys, 2000-2010, http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/microdata/lfs.

Labour Force Survey (Canada), www.statcan.gc.ca/imdb-bmdi/3701-eng.htm.

Labour Force Survey (Israel), www.cbs.gov.il/ts/databank/databank_main_func_e.html?i=21&ti=11&r=0&f=3&o=0.

Labour Force Survey (Japan), www.e-stat.go.jp/SG1/estat/eStatTopPortalE.do.

Labour Force Survey (South Africa), http://interactive.statssa.gov.za:8282/webview/.

National Household Sample Survey (Brazil), www.ibge.gov.br/english/estatistica/populacao/trabalhoerendimento/pnad2008/default.shtm#brasil.

For further reading

Hipple, S. (2010), "Self-employment in the United States" , Monthly Labor Review, September 2010.

OECD (2000), "Employment Outlook 2000" , OECD Publishing.

Indicator in PDF Acrobat PDF page

Figures
7.1a Share of women and men employers, 2010 Figure in Excel
Share of women and men employers, 2010
7.1b Share of women and men own-account workers, 2010 Figure in Excel
Share of women and men own-account workers, 2010
7.2 Number of women and men employers in EU-27 and the United States Figure in Excel
Number of women and men employers in EU-27 and the United States