• Women 2.0 HowTo Conference San Francisco, September 30 - October 1, 2014

The Number of Female Entrepreneurs Rises Internationally

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Here’s some good news: the number of female entrepreneurs is rising around the world -and it’s going to stimulate the economy.

By Jessica Schimm (Assistant Editor, Women 2.0)

Here is some good news about women that will make you smile.

The number of women entrepreneurs has increased, (finally!) according to an article on the HBR Blog Network. Now, women-owned businesses represent 37% of enterprises internationally. It’s not the end goal, but it’s certainly a start.

Big name companies like Coca-Cola, Walmart, and Itau are taking note and the International Finance Corporation believes that businesses with at least one female founder are “collectively looking for $1T to grow their businesses.”

Women are also taking innovation to higher levels, beating out males in “offering products that are new to some or all customers,” according to the article. It also notes that they will be responsible for creating more than half of the new jobs in the SME sector by 2018.

Financially, the trend is already impacting the economy as women are reinvesting 90 cents of every dollar they make back into human resources, according to the article. Though there is still work to be done in tipping the scale in the number of women-led businesses (or even just equalizing it), they are key to unlocking GDP stimulation. HBR reports:

“Yet, while increasingly a recognized force, women’s entrepreneurship still lags men’s in all but seven countries in the world. If women’s labor participation were closer to male participation, it would contribute $1T to GDP in emerging economies — women led businesses are key to this opportunity.”

Close to 40% of women-led enterprises is good, but not nearly good enough, and it may be due to a lack of confidence/support:

“Perceptions of opportunity and capability strongly link to entrepreneurial activity — that is, if you think you will succeed and will be supported, you are more likely to try. In the US and Developed Europe women are 18% less likely to perceive they have the capability to start a business. While the difference is less for developing economies, in every economy in the GEM study women have lower perceptions of their capabilities, showcasing the enormous opportunity for an enabling environment which would boost entrepreneurial activity rates. Foundational to this environment are access to healthcare, education, land rights and affordable childcare. Just as critical are role models and mentors. “

Affordable childcare sound familiar? Square, who was just awarded the Healthy Mothers Workplace award is working on getting childcare at their newest office.

Where do you find your support? Where could more support for women come from? Let us know (our upcoming Las Vegas conference, which offers a lunch mentorship session, might be a good place to start).

Photo via James Blunt Photography / Flickr.

Jess headshotJessica Schimm (@JessicaSchimm) is the assistant editor at Women 2.0. She is a recent graduate of San Francisco State where she earned a B.A. in journalism and was the editor-in-chief of SF State’s Her Campus chapter. She has a strong interest in women’s issues and writes about them on her blog Women Who Run San Francisco.