EPRS Admin By / May 14, 2013

EU27 self-employed men and women (x1000, 20-64 years old, 2012)

EU27 self-employed men and women (x1000, 20-64 years old, 2012)

EU27 self-employed men and women (x1000, 20-64 years old, 2012)

Companies of female entrepreneurs perform similarly in terms of output to those of men but their growth rates seem to lag behind. In 2011, on average, only 24% of self-employed EU women had employees whereas this was the case for 32% of men. Likewise, the OECD found that women’s enterprises with employees are significantly smaller than those of men and that their growth expectations are lower. The OECD-ORBIS database looks at a sample of EU countries and shows that women own a low share of its top10% enterprises. Whilst partly attributed to sectoral segregation, research also relates this small size to the existence of the “glass ceiling”, women starting their companies with less (management) experience, and the fact that women contribute less time to their businesses than men. In OECD countries, 22% of female entrepreneurs work less than 40 hours a week, compared to only 10% for men.


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