Low income Countries Records High Rate of Entrepreneurial Activity Among Women.

A report by Gemconsortium states that there is high rate of entrepreneurial activity among women in low-income countries than man. The aim of the report titled, “Global Entrepreneurship Monitor: Women’s Entrepreneurship Report” is to highlight areas where there are still gaps, challenges, and opportunities, where women entrepreneurs have made significant progress.

“The findings of this report provide a foundation for guiding future research, policy decision-making, and design of initiatives and programs to enhance growth and development of women’s entrepreneurship within context.

Overall, this report demonstrates the value women entrepreneurs bring to societies worldwide and suggests areas for improvement in conditions that encourage and support their aspirations” stated the report.

The report also, “identifies countries and regions where the gender gap may be significant and where it may be closing. Further, it examines how structural factors such as demographics (age, education) and industry distribution/segregation influence women’s entrepreneurship in complex ways across regions, countries, and level of national income.”

Key Findings

Total Entrepreneurial Activity

  • Total Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) represents the percentage of the adult working-age population (18–64) who are either nascent or new entrepreneurs. Globally, the TEA rate for women is 10.2%, approximately three-quarters of that seen for men. Low-income countries show the highest rates of women’s TEA at 15.1%. Low-income countries report the smallest TEA gender gap, in which women’s TEA is over 80% of that of men. Women’s TEA rate drops to 8.1% for high-income countries with a corresponding TEA gender gap of slightly more than two-thirds that of men.
  • The highest rates of TEA for women are found in sub-Saharan Africa (21.8%) and Latin America (17.3%). The lowest rates are found in Europe (6%) and MENA regions (9%).6
  • There are nine countries in which women report entrepreneurial behaviours at levels equal to (parity) or greater than those of men: Angola, Ecuador, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Panama, Qatar, Thailand, and Vietnam. These countries represent all three levels of national income.

Entrepreneurial intentions

  • The global average for women’s intentions to start a business within the next three years is 17.6%, only about four points less than for men. The highest rates of women’s entrepreneurial intentions are found among low-income countries (37.8%), followed by middle-income (21.3%) and high-income countries (12.6%).
  • The highest rates of women’s entrepreneurial intentions were reported in MENA (36.6%). The lowest rates were reported by women in Europe (8.5%).
  • The gender gap for entrepreneurial intentions is closest to parity in low-income countries at 86% women-to-men ratio, increasingly substantial for middle-income and high-income countries with a gap of 26%.

Established business ownership

  • Progress was also noted in terms of women’s ownership of established businesses. GEM defines established businesses as those in operation for more than 42 months. Globally, 6.2% of women entrepreneurs own established businesses, about two-thirds the rate of men (9.5%).
  • The highest rates are seen in sub-Saharan Africa (11.3%) and Asia (9.1%) with the lowest rates of established business ownership reported in MENA (4.5%), Europe (5.3%), North America (5.7%), and Latin America (6.5%).
  • Four countries reported parity or greater of established business ownership: Angola, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam.

Business discontinuance

  • The average global rate for business discontinuance is about 10% lower for women (2.9%) than for men (3.2%).
  • Business discontinuance rates are highest in low-income countries (approximately 5%) with the highest rates reported in sub-Saharan Africa (10.1%).
  • Business discontinuance rates decrease as country-level income increases. The lowest discontinuance rates for women are found in Europe (1.4%).
  • The causes of business discontinuance are attributed to a set of reasons including lack of profit, lack of finance, other job/business opportunity, retirement, sale or acquisition, personal/family reasons, government tax/regulations, and so on.
  • Less than half of women’s business closure reasons are directly attributed to financial reasons (45.8%), including 29.6% reporting closure due to lack of profit and 16.2% citing lack of financing.


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