There’s a new face of global entrepreneurship, and it belongs to a woman. Entrepreneurship is a rapidly changing field, and it is becoming more female dominated as women entrepreneurs rise to the top of a competitive industry both in developed nations and growing economies.
The United States has seen growth in women entrepreneurs over a comparatively long period of time, with the number of female-owned businesses increasing 54% over the last 15 years. The United Kingdom and other developed economies have also been seeing progress in the number of female entrepreneurs for a number of years.
The faster-moving progress in these countries can be seen by the increasing number of women in executive positions. Women now hold a number of CEO and other leadership roles in top companies across all industries, which is huge progress over the status just a few decades ago. These leaders are inspiring younger generations of female entrepreneurs, and the growth seems poised to continue for years to come.
Global Female Outreach
Perhaps inspired by the longer-term growth of female entrepreneurs in developed countries, the number of female entrepreneurs in less developed countries is also rising. For the first time in 13 years, a recent survey found that women created more businesses than men in three countries around the world, and in the other 50-plus countries in the survey, women are building businesses right in line with men.
It’s particularly noteworthy that the three countries where women are outpacing men are the growing economies of Ghana, Nigeria, and Thailand, which are not known for having strong economies. The study shows the importance of women in developing economies.
Reasons for Growth
There are a number of factors contributing to the rise in female entrepreneurship. In many countries, such as Brazil, Switzerland, and Ecuador, part of the growth can be attributed to new action by the government to pass legislative amendments and equal opportunities to create sustainable change.
Other groups have been working around the globe to empower women, including Coca-Cola and the International Finance Corp, which recently teamed up to provide $100 million to balance education throughout Africa, a region where many girls and women have historically not attended school. As more females go to school, they gain the skills to start and build their own businesses.
The government and private sector push to empower women has become a large movement around the world. A joint study recently predicted that doubling Internet access for females around the world could add $13 billion to $18 billion in annual GDP to 144 developing economies around the world. If something as basic as internet access can have such a large impact, imagine the power of women starting businesses in droves.
The effects of these initiatives are being seen in economic indicators big and small, ranging from an increase in female consumer spending around the world, indicating that women have more access to money, to the numbers of women starting businesses and reaching executive positions.
Effect of Growth
The number of female entrepreneurs around the world shows the impact of programs to empower women, as well as the impact of global education and skills training. However, the effect of these female entrepreneurs goes beyond just the basic numbers.
For every woman who starts her own business, there are other employees hired and more jobs created. Females tend to be more focused on teamwork than profits, meaning women are typically able to run successful businesses that also provide job opportunities for others, continuing the cycle of successful working women.
Time will tell if the growth of female entrepreneurs is a long-lasting trend or just a fluke, but many indicators point to the numbers only increasing in coming years. With a changing economic and entrepreneurial landscape around the world, women could play a much larger role in the years to come.
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