Women entrepreneurs and business owners are a diverse group that remains active across all industries, sectors, and product and service markets, but more work needs to be done to close the gender gap, according to the latest report by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM).
GEM’s new 2022/2023 Women’s Entrepreneurship Report, titled Challenging Bias and Stereotypes, was released November 13. Amanda Elam, research fellow at the Diana International Research Institute at Babson College, was the lead author.
The report underscores that women entrepreneurs continue to play an important role in driving economic growth and advancing social development in their countries and communities. “Despite harmful stereotypes that question competence, women entrepreneurs are driving innovation and economic growth in their countries, communities, and families,” Elam said.
However, “women also face inequality in the home, carrying a heavier burden of family responsibilities, which contributes to increased economic dependence and decreased interpersonal power and privilege,” the report concludes. “These factors combine to perpetuate harmful stereotypes that hold back even the most privileged women entrepreneurs in terms of legitimacy and access to financial capital and other critical resources necessary for business growth and success.”
The GEM report also takes a closer look at key topics to better understand gender-based patterns, including the importance of segmentation, digitalization, and sustainability. Among its key findings and recommendations, the report emphasizes the need to better support women entrepreneurs who are starting and developing high-growth, high-innovation, and large-market businesses.
GEM, a global consortium of academic researchers co-founded by Babson College in 1999, studies entrepreneurial motivation and activity around the world. Its annual women’s report examines trends across 49 countries, five global regions, and three national income levels. And, it focuses on key GEM indicators, including gender differences in participation rates at various points in the entrepreneurial life cycle.
Among the key statistical findings in the GEM Women’s Entrepreneurship Report:
Among its recommendations, the new GEM report emphasizes the continuing need to debunk stereotypes and support women entrepreneurs who are building high-growth, high-innovation, and large-market businesses.
“Stereotypes that frame women entrepreneurs as a disadvantaged group feed a false narrative that women lack the same competency as men regarding business leadership,” the report says. “In fact, the opposite is true. Women entrepreneurs are finding ways to grow large, successful businesses despite harmful gender stereotypes that interfere with access to critical business networks and resources. Imagine what women could do if their competence as business leaders was assumed rather than questioned at every turn.”
In addition to supporting high-potential women entrepreneurs, the report offers three other recommendations:
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