126 Million Female Entrepreneurs Active Worldwide

Wellesley, Mass. — July 31

More than 126 million female entrepreneurs were starting or running new businesses in 67 economies in 2012, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, or GEM, 2012 Women’s Report. This research is sponsored by Babson College, Universidad Del Desarrollo and the University Tun Abdul Razak.

An estimated 48 million female entrepreneurs and 64 million female established business owners employ one or more people.

Seven million female entrepreneurs and five million established business owners are expected to grow their ventures by at least six employees in five years.

Still, the report found that much needs to be done for female entrepreneurs to further boost and grow their businesses. Female entrepreneurs need more resources and better programs to build new collaborations and leverage ideas, develop entrepreneurial abilities and attitudes, and access the means necessary to expand their businesses and generate jobs.

“In most economies around the world, there are fewer women than men starting and running new businesses, but there are even fewer running mature ones,” said Babson College professor Donna J. Kelley, the report’s lead author. “This raises a red flag about the ability of women to easily transition from starting to sustaining their businesses.”

According to the report, female entrepreneurs are drawn more to the consumer-industry sector, while men continue to dominate the capital and knowledge-based manufacturing and service sectors. In Europe and the United States, women are as highly educated, or more so, than men. Yet, they are less likely to believe they have the capabilities for starting businesses.

“Even though women may have more years of education, it may not relate to self-perceived confidence in their entrepreneurial capabilities,” said Candida G. Brush, report author and distinguished professor in entrepreneurship, Babson College. “In developed economies, entrepreneurship is opportunity-driven, and women who are well-schooled in other disciplines than entrepreneurship may question their ability to identify, assess and act on an opportunity.”

The 2012 GEM Women’s Report, conducted in 67 economies, examines the rates and nature of female participation in entrepreneurship around the world and contrasts these findings with male rates. This research analyzes how many women are participating in entrepreneurship, the types of businesses they are starting or operating, their motives and aspirations for this endeavor and their attitudes about entrepreneurship.

The full report can be read at http://www.babson.edu/Academics/centers/blank-center/global-research/gem/Documents/GEM%202012%20Womens%20Report.pdf.

Source: Babson College