Fewer women than men become entrepreneurs. In 2012, only 18% of women in the OECD (and 32% of men) have ever started or are taking steps to establish a business (See the chart below). There are even fewer women among business owners with paid employees.
Women’s preferences for self-employment are falling. In 2012, only 31% of women (and 43% of men) would prefer to be self-employed to working as an employee. The gender gap has been widening in the OECD during the crisis, even if there are large differences in trends across countries. Self-employment became less attractive to women particularly in Slovenia, Japan and Greece, while in Turkey more women would choose a self-employment career now than before.
The crisis might have amplified women’s perceptions of the risks associated with entrepreneurship: more than half (53.8%) of women believe that one shouldn’t start a business if it might fail (this is 45% for men). Women also have a greater fear of the material consequences of failure (35% fear losing their house and 43% fear going bankrupt) than men.
Less than one third of women (and 39% of men) think it is feasible to start a business in the next five years. Access to finance is seen as a key obstacle for both men and women: in Greece 20% of men and 30% of women feel that they lack the financing capacity to become self-employed; in Ireland the numbers are 33% and 24% respectively. On the other hand, concerns over the difficulties in reconciling family and work commitments while self-employed are an important obstacle for women more than for men.
Information on data for Israel: http://oe.cd/israel-disclaimer