Women are under represented among entrepreneurs in Europe. There are a number of factors that participate in this, particularly due to societal and cultural influence as well as national and European policy. The policy brief intends to shed light on this and explore what can be done to boost representation. 


A policy brief on women’s entrepreneurship in Europe has been published, which assesses, in detail, the gender gap in entrepreneurship, in order to conclude what needs to be done to encourage more women to be entrepreneurs and gain them more representation Europe-wide. The report also includes concrete examples of networks that support female entrepreneurs.

The report examines the challenges women face when starting and growing their businesses and what policy can do to support them. There are a number of reasons cited that impact on whether women will get into entrepreneurial endeavours, including social and institutional reasons, the influence/importance of female role models for budding business owners, policy approaches at national levels, and the motivations for starting a business based on cultural attitudes.

The report concludes that it is necessary to ensure that entrepreneurship support is accessible and relevant to women in order to attain success, but these should be connected to the mainstream business community.

The approaches should offer training, coaching and mentoring as well as support in building networks and facilitating access to finance.

The brief was published by the Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED) programme of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Read the full policy brief here.