The policy brief on Women’s Entrepreneurship explores the gender gap in entrepreneurship, the differences between male- and female-owned businesses, and the unique challenges that female entrepreneurs face when it comes to starting a business.
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It was jointly published by the European Commission and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Women tend to have latent entrepreneurial potential that is not realised. Policy makers need to unlock this potential, recognising that women are a heterogeneous group with many differences in their motivations, intentions and projects.
Several new policy approaches to supporting women in entrepreneurship are starting to emerge. This includes providing more support for growth-oriented women entrepreneurs with:
- dedicated business incubator and business accelerator programmes and
- the creation of an infrastructure for risk capital.
The broad institutional conditions also need to be improved. One aspect is culture, since entrepreneurs are strongly influenced by role models and social context. It is therefore important to promote women entrepreneurs as role models and ensure that the education system is gender-neutral and does not discourage women from going into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
Finally, more targeted actions can be taken to ensure that family policies, social policies and tax policies do not discriminate against entrepreneurship by women.