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Women Entrepreneurs | The HBS Blog | Entrepreneurs
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Women Entrepreneurs | The HBS Blog | Entrepreneurs

By Carleigh Lowe Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I stumbled upon an interesting article, "How Women Entrepreneurs Can Make a Difference." Take a look at the excerpt below.

A new eye-opening report shows that women are falling behind men when it comes to entrepreneurship. We look at the numbers and possible reasons.

The most notable fact our culture imprints on women is the sense of our limits. The most important thing one woman can do for another is to illuminate and expand her sense of actual possibilities.”—Adrienne Rich

Forty-three percent of Americans believe there are good opportunities to start a business today—the highest number since 1999, according to the latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report. But there’s one group of entrepreneurs lagging behind: women. Women are less likely than men to want to start businesses, are less likely to actually start businesses, have less confidence in their abilities to start businesses and have lower expectations for the businesses they do start. What’s the deal?

First, the number of women business owners is shrinking:

  • The ratio of women to men participating in entrepreneurship dropped from 8:10 in 2011 to 7:10 in 2012.
  • The percentage of men involved in early-stage entrepreneurial activity rose from 13 percent in 2011 to 15 percent in 2012, while women held steady at 11 percent.
  • 11 percent of men are established business owners, compared to just 7 percent of women.
  • One in five men plan to start a business in the next three years; just one in 13 women do.

So, what’s holding women back? We take a deeper dive into the numbers to see find some possible culprits.



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