American Women Are Slipping In Business Endeavors Compared To Women Around The World

August 5, 2013  |  

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Women in America, a study finds, have little faith in their entrepreneurial prowess. Seven countries were examined and researchers discovered that although businesswomen were a minority in each nation, women in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa were more active in business than American women, reports Entrepreneur.

Many women expressed a sense of doubt in their ability to launch their own business, according to a new survey released by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. As a result, male entrepreneurs have been consistently taking the lead in the economy. “Women report being more afraid of failure on average than their male counterparts,” adds Entrepreneur. However, the study’s author, Donna Kelley, says that these convictions come from very real challenges.

In the U.S. “studies […] show that women are less likely to receive venture capital funding,” Entrepreneur says. Kelley also points out that more men are involved high-tech careers—which boosts entrepreneurial activity — and women are less likely to engage in the field of science or engineering. Although there are fewer observable barriers preventing women from starting their own business in America, the expectation that a businesswoman will be overridden by the male-dominated industry still lurks.

Surprisingly, in contrast to American women, sub-Saharan African women showed the most confidence in their entrepreneurship skills. “Part of the higher levels of confidence in sub-Saharan Africa is because almost 60 percent of women know other women entrepreneurs,” says the story. According to Kelley, this provided the women in Zambia, Malawi, Ghana, Uganda, and Nigeria with role models to emulate.

Researchers discovered that women living in developed regions of Asia showed the least amount of confidence; only five percent of Japanese women expressed any trust in their ability to start a business. The report notes that the culture’s gender roles can contribute to this deficiency in confidence.

Some of the common factors discovered in all seven economies was that businesswomen are more likely to work directly with consumers rather than pursue “capital intensive manufacturing businesses and knowledge-intensive business services,” the survey finds.  Women in the study are unified in the belief that it’s riskier for them than it is for a man to forgo being an employee and pursue entrepreneurship.

The countries that were found to have nearly as many female entrepreneurs as there are businessmen are Panama, Thailand, Ghana, Ecuador, Nigeria, Mexico, and Uganda. The countries with the least amount of female businesswomen are living in developed regions of Asia, Israel, and Europe.

This study surveyed 198,000 people in 69 countries.

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