Determinants of Entrepreneurship: Are Women Different?

Fernanda Llussa

New University of Lisbon

November 9, 2010

FEUNL Working Paper Series No. 555

In this paper we investigate, for the first time, how individual determinants of entrepreneurship - such as age, income, education, work status, skills, access to networks and fear of failure - differ between males and females. We conduct our exercise using individual data provided by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), available for 46 countries, between 2001 and 2004. The literature on entrepreneurship has uncovered differences in the rate of entrepreneurship between men and women, with women generally displaying lower entrepreneurial activity than men. This is important since, as we show, entrepreneurial activity is positively related across countries with the female to male entrepreneurial ratio. We examine total entrepreneurship rates, as well as entrepreneurship driven by opportunity and by need. We find that indeed entrepreneurial activity rates are lower for females across all but one of the countries in the sample. Looking at categorical groups – by age interval, education, work status, etc. – we find that female entrepreneurial rates are significantly lower than for males. For the first time we test for differences in the characteristics of female and male entrepreneurs and find that female entrepreneurs are slightly older, more frequently at home or not working, lower income and lower educated, and less access to business networks than their male counterparts. AS to the determinants of entrepreneurial rates themselves, the main differences across genders are the lower impact of secondary education and the larger impact of skills and fear of failure in female entrepreneurial rates relative to males. Results for entrepreneurship by opportunity and by necessity confirm the larger importance of specific skills for women creating new businesses. Our results suggest that facilitating access to business networks and specific business skills are the most powerful instruments to increase the rates of female entrepreneurship.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 34

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Date posted: April 5, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Llussa, Fernanda, Determinants of Entrepreneurship: Are Women Different? (November 9, 2010). FEUNL Working Paper Series No. 555. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1799334 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1799334

Contact Information

Fernanda Llussa (Contact Author)
New University of Lisbon ( email )
1099-085 Lisboa, 1099-085
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