Women's entrepreneurial potential is underexploited and the EU needs more women entrepreneurs to create growth and new jobs. This was the main message of today's European SME Week Summit in Brussels which focuses on encouraging women to consider setting up and running their own business, usually a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME).
With Europe moving further towards having national economies based on adding value through services, the need for more and better qualified human capital will only grow. This is where women can play a key role. The fact that women only account for 34.4% of the self-employed in Europe suggests that they need more encouragement to become entrepreneurs.
This leaves considerable untapped human potential that is sorely needed to boost economic growth and create the new jobs required in today’s difficult economic climate. If more women can be motivated to start up and lead companies, this could generate growth and jobs across the EU.
The European Commission is actively promoting women entrepreneurship with:
- the European Ambassadors’ Network providing inspirational role models to encourage women to consider entrepreneurship as a viable career option and
- a European Mentors’ Network who give practical advice to women who have recently launched their own businesses.