In 2010, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) conducted a study of women entrepreneurs around the world. With the goal of promoting the value women entrepreneurs can bring to their environments, GEM addressed topics including women’s attitudes, activities, and aspirations as entrepreneurs.
Among the 2010 Women’s Report’s findings is that compared to men, “fewer women believe there are lots of opportunities for entrepreneurship and that they have the capabilities for this endeavor.” This leads to fewer women having the intention of starting a business due to a fear of failure. This attitude is pronounced in more developed economies, while in less developed economies women are more likely to start a business out of necessity. At all levels of economic development, women tend to have lower growth expectations than men.
Around the world, women’s participation in entrepreneurship varies widely from 1.5% of adult working-age women to as high as 45.4%. Regionally, Sub-Saharan Africa boasts the highest proportions of female entrepreneurs with women making up close to or more than half of entrepreneurs (Ghana held the highest rate at 55%). Conversely, among Middle East and North African economies none reported a rate higher than one-third. Women in Sub-Saharan countries also generally exhibit higher perceptions of capabilities and opportunities with Uganda, Zambia, and Ghana leading the factor-driven grouping. In the efficiency-driven economies, Latin American countries such as Ecuador and Peru had the highest rankings while Russia, Malaysia, and Romania exhibited markedly lower numbers.