The number of female-owned enterprises has been growing at a faster pace than male-owned ones
During the crisis, creations of female-owned enterprises declined less than male-owned ones. [Figure 22.3.xls] However, women are a minority among business owners. Across the 27 EU countries only 25% of business owners with employees are women. [Figure 22.1.xls]
Men more than women prefer to be self-employed
51% of European men, but only 39% of women, would rather be self-employed than employees if they had the choice; among the unemployed more men than women actively seek to become self-employed. [Figure IV.A1.2]
Women business owners are better educated than men, but less experienced in managing a business
Experience is critical for business success. Women are less likely than men to have run another business before starting-up a new one, even though they are more likely to have completed a university-level degree. [Figure 23.3]
Better access to high-quality, affordable childcare and long-term care matter for reducing the gender gap in earnings among the self-employed
The gender gap in earnings is larger in self-employment than in wage employment: self-employed women earn 33% less than self-employed men. [Figure 25.1]. A major factor in the earnings gap between male and female entrepreneurs is that women devote significantly less time to their businesses than men.
Smaller size and less capitalization make women-owned business less profitable
Female-owned enterprises account for a very low share of the top 10% enterprises as measured by employment, asset value, or shareholder capital. [Figure IV.A.1.3] Lower capital intensity and the industry they operate in explain together more than half of the productivity gap with men-owned businesses.
Policies for women entrepreneurs should not exclusively target start-ups and small enterprises, but include instruments to stimulate the development of medium-sized and larger businesses
SME policies are likely to have a relatively large effect on women entrepreneurs, since most women run small businesses: data from OECD countries shows that over 90% of single-owner businesses run by women have less than 10 employees. [Figure IV.A.1.3] But it's important to put a stronger focus on instruments that can help female businesses realise their aspirations for growth.
Women entrepreneurs are less likely than men to seek for credit and equity financing
Women entrepreneurs rely substantially less than men on external loans, both for start-up and for financing their activities. For example in the United States almost 60% of women started their enterprise with less than USD 5 000 [Figure 26.3], and only 6% of women requested a loan from a financial institution to start their business.