Demography is Not Destiny: Age, Gender and Entrepreneurial Activity

Monday, April 6, 2020

The Effects of Gender on Entrepreneurial Activity

In each of the economies participating in the GEM research, the sample of adults interviewed in the Adult Population Survey (APS) is carefully structured to reflect the age, gender and locational distribution of the overall population of the specific economy, so that the sample is as representative as possible.

This chapter considers two key characteristics of any given population that may have a significant influence on the level of entrepreneurial activity: gender and age. This chapter will show that, in most economies, the oldest age group (55–64) has the lowest levels of Total early-stage Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA). But there are five economies where the youngest age group (18–24) has the lowest levels of TEA, as well as four economies where this youngest age group has the highest level of TEA. Overall, in many economies the propensity to be involved in starting or running a new business first increases and then decreases with age.

While men have traditionally been more likely than women to start new businesses, increasing female participation in entrepreneurship is an important policy objective in many countries. Examples include the adoption of policies to support women entrepreneurs in Canada, and a focused women’s entrepreneurship initiative in Germany. In Ireland, the OECD review of SME and Entrepreneurship Policy noted the untapped potential of women entrepreneurs, while the government in North Macedonia has recently adopted the Strategy and Action Plan for Women Entrepreneurs 2019–2023. Madagascar has a new gender-based policy to support women entrepreneurs (the Fiharianna Policy Initiative) (Read more…).

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