Globally, 37% of all enterprises are woman-owned. While there’s still progress to be made in reaching 50%, that’s hundreds of millions of women running businesses—generating incomes for their households and bolstering their local communities.
Despite this pivotal role in the global economy, women often face steep challenges when starting and growing their businesses. They face significantly greater challenges in accessing funds to invest in and grow their businesses than men.
The International Finance Corporation estimatesthat close to 70% of woman-owned small and medium enterprises in developing economies are unserved or underserved by financial institutions, leading to a credit gap of around $300 billion.
And the barriers women face extend beyond the financial. The longstanding norm of the lone male entrepreneur continues to be perpetuated in popular and social media, education programs, and even through policies in many countries. This is perhaps why, regardless of where women live, they’re less likely to see themselves as capable of running an enterprise as men. As the saying goes, you can’t be what you can’t see. This creates a context in which the decision to start a business is heavily weighted against women.
Read the full article on female entrepreneurship at ideas42
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