Latin America has the second-highest rate of women entrepreneurs discontinuing their businesses. To shine a light on women’s entrepreneurial activity in the region, and contribute to tailored support for female-owned businesses, INCAE Business School recently published a study on entrepreneurship and gender in Latin America.
Building on data obtained from a survey of 342 entrepreneurs from 15 Latin American countries, the research shows some significant differences in the perceptions and results of the entrepreneurial activity of women and men:
- Both women and men are more likely to hire employers of their same gender: Male entrepreneurs employ more men than women (72 percent), and women entrepreneurs hire more women than men (67 percent)
- In women-owned businesses, women hold top managerial positions: 95 percent of the women entrepreneurs surveyed have a majority of women in senior management positions, compared to 49 percent of male entrepreneurs. The higher the percentage of women at the top, the more significant the gender gap: while 51.4 percent of female entrepreneurs say that women comprise 75 percent of their management team, only 5.4 percent of male entrepreneurs say the same.
- Women entrepreneurs are more cautious in predicting firm growth than men: While 59 percent of men expect a profit increase of more than 10 percent over the following two years, only 48 percent of female entrepreneurs anticipated growth of more than 10 percent.
- Women perceive they are discriminated against: while 27 percent of women claim to have been discriminated against because of their gender when doing business, only 4 percent of men perceive this type of barrier. Furthermore, 50.6 percent of women claim there is widespread inequality in entrepreneurship opportunities (access to resources, adequate training and business advice)
- Lack of access to capital is perceived as the main reason for women-owned businesses to fail: while a majority of men indicate that they have closed their companies due to poor financial profitability; female entrepreneurs point out the difficulty of obtaining financing as the main impediment to continuing their businesses.
For more information, please click here to access the full report.
Contributed by Stefanía Doebbel.