Women Entrepreneurs in SMEs

Realising the Benefits of Globalisation and the Knowledge-based Economy

The first OECD Conference on Women Entrepreneurs in SMEs in 1997 highlighted their contribution to innovation and job creation. Since that time, women’s entrepreneurship has been burgeoning. Women entrepreneurs constitute a growing share of SME owners, with higher than average start-up rates in several OECD Member and non-member countries. Eliminating obstacles to the creation and development of firms by women and creating a level playing field for women business owners is vital for a thriving entrepreneurial sector and important for national growth strategies. Women business owners are creating new niches for entrepreneurial activity and have the potential to become key players in the new, knowledge-based economy. However, they must adapt to profound changes in the way small enterprises do business, both locally and at the global level. The 2000 Conference aimed at finding ways to help women-owned SMEs seize the opportunities offered by globalisation, ICTs, changes in firm organisation, the increasing importance of the service sector, and other current developments. Cette publication est tirée de la conférence de l'OCDE sur « Les femmes entrepreneurs à la tête de PME : pour une participation dynamique à la mondialisation et à l'économie fondée sur le savoir ». Les lecteurs de langue française y trouveront une synthèse en français des présentations, discussions et conclusions de la conférence.