2019 WHER Excerpt: Key Characteristics of Global Women Entrepreneurs


Burgandy Basulto is a Content Writer at NAWRB. She has a bachelor’s degree in both English and Philosophy, and a master’s degree in Philosophy. When she’s not reading or writing, she loves running, kickboxing, watching films, trying new restaurants she finds via Yelp, and experiencing other cultures during her travels.

The six-volume 2019 Women in the Housing Ecosystem Report (WHER) will be released by the beginning of the third quarter. Attendees of the 2019 NAWRB Conference, Redefining Leadership, on August 4th-6th in Pasadena, CA, will get to hear expert industry leaders discuss the main topics from the report, including diverse leadership, homeownership, business ownership, aging population and more! Read more for an excerpt of the report. 

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Women’s Entrepreneurship 2016/2017 report provides a thorough review of women’s entrepreneurship in four main geographic regions of the world, including East and South Asia, Europe and North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa. Here are some of the key characteristics of global women entrepreneurs. 

Age: Across development levels and regional groups, the highest participation in entrepreneurship among women is in the 25-34 and 35-44 age groups. The same is seen for male entrepreneurs.

Education: Fourteen percent of female entrepreneurs in the factor-driven stage have at least a college degree, compared to 61 percent of women in the innovation driven stage. North America has the highest education rates among women entrepreneurs as 84 percent have earned a high school education or more. In Europe, there is an average of 22 percent more highly educated women than their male counterparts.

Self-employment: Of the 74 economies analyzed in the report, 10 percent of women operated businesses alone and had no intention to hire employees in the next five years. Women entrepreneurs were as likely, or more likely than men to have self-employment businesses in 75 percent of the sample. 

Europe has the highest frequencies of women running businesses with no other employees, while North America has the lowest frequency. Half of women entrepreneurs operated their businesses alone in the Netherlands—two-and-a-half times the rate of male entrepreneurs in the country.

Innovation: Innovation levels often increase parallel to a region’s economic development, so innovation-driven economies are more likely to have more innovation than lower levels of development. The innovation indicator has the greatest female-to-male gender ratio, with women entrepreneurs exhibiting a 5 percent greater likelihood of innovativeness than their male counterparts in all 74 economies.

Thirty-eight percent of women in North America—where there is the highest level of innovation—report having innovative products and services. In sub-Saharan Africa, only 18 percent of women state their products and services are innovative. However, there is gender parity in entrepreneurship in both of these regions, including Europe. 

Among entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa, women report high innovation levels and are 60 percent  more likely than men to claim their products or services are innovative. Seven of the 10 countries in this region report higher innovation levels among women entrepreneurs than men entrepreneurs.

Industry: About 60 percent of women entrepreneurs in the first three levels of economic development (factor-driven to efficient-driven) are in the wholesale and trade industry. In contrast, in innovation-driven economy, only one-third of women entrepreneurs compete in this sector. These findings are consistent with men entrepreneurs as well. Across all 74 economies, women entrepreneurs are 16 percent more likely to start wholesale or retail businesses.

Over half of women entrepreneurs in innovation-driven economies have businesses in government, health, education, or social services. Women’s participation exceeds men’s participation in this business category at all development levels. On average, women are more than twice as likely as men to start businesses in this sector. 

Women entrepreneurs are not very active in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector, with fewer than 2 percent starting business here. This is slightly more than one-fourth the proportion of men on average starting businesses in this sector.

Growth expectations: Women entrepreneurs had the lowest expectations of future business growth in Latin America, even those there are many entrepreneurs in this region. Even though average growth expectations in Sub-Saharan Africa are higher than in Latin America, the former has a wider gender gap in growth expectations between women and men business owners. Women entrepreneurs in this region only reaching 55 percent of the male level. 

The Middle East and North Africa region reports the highest average growth expectations among women at 37 percent, and the highest gender parity as female growth expectations are just under 80 percent of the male level. Over half of women entrepreneurs in the UAE, Qatar, and Tunisia expect to hire six or more employees in the next five years. Women in Saudi Arabia and Morocco are more likely than their male counterparts to have ambitions of hiring more employees. 

Stay tuned for the release of the six-volume 2019 WHER! Buy your ticket to the conference here: https://www.nawrbconference.com/tickets


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