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The Gender Gap in Entrepreneurship

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saskia vossenberg

on 26 November 2013

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Transcript of The Gender Gap in Entrepreneurship

What to celebrate?
The Gender Gap
Explaining the gender gap
What explains?
How to close it?
The Gender Gap in Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship is the New Women's Movement

Forbes, 2012
Despite the growing number of women-led business and a significant increase of initiatives, policies and resources designed to promote and develop women’s entrepreneurship, the gender gap in entrepreneurship persist.
Facts & figures
Access to financial resources
Inadequate training
Access to technology and internet
Legal barriers and procedures
Safety and violence
Care responsibilities
Powerless networks
Lack of societal support
understanding the context
Worldwide 52% of men and 48% of women engaged in entrepreneurial activity

At country level it ranges from 1,5 % (Pakistan) to 7% (The Netherlands) to 40% (Zambia) to 50% (Brazil) of women that run or start a business

Ghana is the only economy in the world with more women (55%) then men that start or run a business
Entrepreneurial activity
Necessity or opportunity entrepreneur?
Women worldwide are driven by poverty and survival to start a business
The majority of women entrepreneurs are at subsistence level
They operate in the informal economy
They run micro businesses, usually home-based
Industry choice
Worldwide women are nearly absent from the manufacturing and construction industry
They are overrepresented in consumer services and retail
In Latin America, the Carribean and Sub-Saharan Africa 75% of women (45% of men) operate in the consumer sector
Business performance and growth
Women's businesses are smaller
They employ fewer staff
Less growth expectations
Earn less money and have lower revenues then men
Women struggle to maintain their businesses beyond the start-up phase
Exit rates are high, especially in developing countries
"Women entrepreneurs are an untapped source of economic growth that will change societies and bring gender equality".
Gender differences between men and women in entrepreneurial activity, motives, industry choice and business performance.
The rapid growth of the number of women entrepreneurs has drawn the attention of many

Growing amount of resources, policy focus, support programs and initiatives to promote women's entrepreneurship and close the gender gap.

The promise: gender equality & economic growth
Barriers to Business
The Gender Aware Framework
(Brush, 2009) Interconnectedness
Institutional theory (Baughn, 2006): the gendered context in which entrepreneurship is embedded
You can contact me for:
funding opportunities
course content
Leila from Georgia
Azemina from Kosovo
Bruce from Zimbabwe
Raed from Iraq
Tania from Honduras
Who won the WED Tender 2012?
Class of WEP Executive Course 2012
Meanwhile at MsM
Researching women's entrepreneurship promotion policies and practices: impact and alternative frameworks
WEP Business Safari's
WEB Round Table Meetings
Under construction: online resources,
knowledge and expertise
Summer Course: Women and entrepreneurship in developing countries. Policies, perspectives and practices to close the gender gap. (July 2013)

Women's Entrepreneurship Promotion Executive Course (November 2013)
For more information on the WEP Executive Course or the Summer Course please check www.msm.nl
How does entrepreneurship fulfill its promise and strengthen the position of women in societies?

How can we best support women in their entrepreneurial aspirations?
Closing the gender gap in entrepreneurship
What kind of policies and support programs are currently conducted (and by whom) to overcome these barriers, and what do we know about their impact?
"The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights" Gloria Steinem
Why do these programs fail?
1. Based on the wrong assumption

2. Individualistic approach

3. The real problem is not addressed

Stop fixing women, start fixing societies
Not gender blind but gender sensitive
Adress the power structures in patriarchal societies
Empower and raise awareness among women entrepreneurs (and promoters) the potential for social change

Women only own 1% of the world’s property

There are 1 or more legal differences between women and men that limit women’s economic opportunity in ¾ of economies studied

In 2/3 of countries, legal rights of women decline with marriage

44 countries restrict # hrs women can work; 71 restrict types of industries
Facts on Women’s Economic Rights
Become superwoman
One-job/one-career strategy
Postponing children
Hiring a “wife”
Lower ambitions career advancement
Limit working hours
Turn down promotions, business, travel
Limit the number of children
Reducing time on leisure and community involvement
Business and family are intertwined
Women business owners are more likely to experience work-family conflict than men
The desire to better balance between work and family motivates both men and women to start a business
"Women are more likely to use coping strategies that (intentionally or unintentionally) constrain rather than enhance the growth of their firms" (Jennings, 2007)
Combining business & family
The context in which entrepreneurship is embedded remains unaffected
Mariela from Cuba
Saskia Vossenberg, 2013
Maastricht School of Management

Alternative perspective
Meroyi from Nigeria
Prabina from Nepal
Full transcript