A new report on trends in women’s entrepreneurship, drawing on the multi-country Global Entrepreneurship Monitor surveys, has just been published by a team of researchers from Babson College. The GEM 2010 Women’s Report draws on data collected from surveys of over 175,000 adults in 59 countries, including 14,000 women business owners.
As in previous GEM women’s reports, the researchers point to a continuing gap in entrepreneurial activity among women compared to men, lower levels of self-confidence among women, and lower levels of growth aspirations among women business owners compared to their male counterparts.
The 59 economies are grouped into three categories (newly-named as of the 2008 GEM study and roughly equivalent to the previous low, moderate, and high income definitions): factor-driven, efficiency-driven, and innovation-driven. However, these categorizations do not seem to impact the gender analysis on many of the key findings:
- women are found to have smaller, less diverse professional networks than men,
- in all but one country (Ghana!), women are less likely than men to own businesses, and
- while internationalization increases with economic development, in all three types of economies women are less likely to trade internationally than men.
One intriguing new analysis contained in this report is a look at entrepreneurship gender gaps over time in the 16 countries that have been included in the GEM consortium for most of the past nine years. It was found that the gender gaps in entrepreneurship rates that had been quite wide in Argentina and Brazil as of 2002 have now virtually disappeared, while – conversely – in China where there had previously been no gender gap in entrepreneurship rates there is now a significant gap, with women now being much less likely than men to own a business.