The Countries That Lead The Way In Female Entrepreneurs May Surprise You

Over the last decade, the number of female business owners around the world has increased by 45%, with research finding that female-founded digital startups outperform male-founded ones. However, according to a recent study by Aston University, men are around twice as likely to become entrepreneurs compared to women. But why is there such a large gap between men and women in entrepreneurship?

A report by The Unilever Foundry in February 2018 found that 4 in 10 female founders say they frequently encountered gender bias whilst running their startup, with 42% believing that this gender discrimination would continue as they scaled up their business. As a result, it appears that wider gender barriers are a large part of the issue, with women not being supported or encouraged into entrepreneurship in the same way as their male peers. More than a third of female entrepreneurs also suffer gender bias when trying to raise capital, despite female-founded startups landing a record 4,399 investments in 2019.

Fortunately, there are steps being made to understand and tackle the barriers facing women entrepreneurs. For example, in the UK, Santander recently launched a mentoring scheme, targeted towards the next generation of fast-growth female entrepreneurs, so that they can be supported by those who have tried and tested methods of running an enterprise. If more schemes of this type are put into place around the world, and the gender gap between men and women in entrepreneurship is closed, global GDP could rise by approximately 3-6%, boosting the economy by $2.5-5 trillion according to research by the Boston Consulting Group.

Female entrepreneurship is clearly continuing on a global upward trend, with the hope that one day the entrepreneurial gender gap will be closed indefinitely – but which countries are currently leading the way? 

Here are some of the key stats you may be interested in:

  • African countries lead the way with Uganda (38%), Ghana (38%) and Botswana (36%) making up the top 3 countries with the highest percentage of female entrepreneurs.
  • 30% of businesses are owned by women in Portugal and Spain, with these countries having the highest percentages in Europe. 
  • The United Kingdom ranks in 15th place with women making up just 28% of business owners.

RS Components has analyzed data from the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs 2019 to reveal which countries are leading the way when it comes to female entrepreneurs – you can view their findings here and check out the graphic below:

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