OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers

ISSN :
1815-199X (online)
DOI :
10.1787/1815199x
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This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected labour market, social policy and migration studies prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.
 

Women Entrepreneurs in the OECD

Key Evidence and Policy Challenges You or your institution have access to this content

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Author(s):
Mario Piacentini1
Author Affiliations
  • 1: OECD, France

Publication Date
23 July 2013
Bibliographic information
No.:
147
Pages
43
DOI
10.1787/5k43bvtkmb8v-en

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Important gender gaps in entrepreneurship exist. Men are three times more likely than women to own a business with employees. Women rarely own large businesses and their average earnings from selfemployment are up to 60% lower than for men. Cultural norms, stereotypes and lack of role models make women less interested in an entrepreneurial career and less confident in their capacities as entrepreneurs. Other obstacles such as time shortages and the composition of their professional networks lead women to start relatively small businesses, with low levels of initial capital and bank financing. These obstacles establish a competitive disadvantage for companies owned by women, which translates in levels of labour productivity that are 5 to 30% lower than those of companies owned by men. This paper also presents examples of policy initiatives in the domains of credit, training and awareness raising that can unlock the double dividend of women’s entrepreneurship: higher empowerment of women and more productive businesses. Better data and more analysis are an essential precondition for a more effective implementation of these policies.
Keywords:
entrepreneurship policies, entrepreneurship data, gender
JEL Classification:
  • J01: Labor and Demographic Economics / General / Labor Economics: General
  • J08: Labor and Demographic Economics / General / Labor Economics Policies
  • J16: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demographic Economics / Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
  • L25: Industrial Organization / Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior / Firm Performance: Size, Diversification, and Scope
  • L26: Industrial Organization / Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior / Entrepreneurship