For the past few years, a Global Entrepreneurship Monitoring (GEM) Women's Report has documented the situations of women as business leaders in various countries, including areas of North Africa.
In 2017, the report found 163 million people have started businesses in 74 countries over the past year.
“It is clear that governments need to pay attention to the rates and nature of entrepreneurial activity among women, given that gaps among women, composing half of a country's population, will weigh heavily on a country's overall entrepreneurship levels and impact.” Donna Kelley, professor of entrepreneurship at Babson College, told Maghreb News Wire on Oct. 4. “In some countries, there are far more women wanting to start a business than there are those actually starting one. This may mean that women aren't taking the steps to act on their intentions, or that they are dissuaded or constrained from doing so. Identifying if this is the case in a country and the cause will provide important information for initiatives and policies.”
Also, Kelley said, a kind of “imbalance” between new startups and more established businesses can apply.
“Where there are few mature business owners compared to those starting businesses, there may be an issue with sustaining businesses,” she said. “Ideally, we want women entrepreneurs with viable ventures to have the best chance for survival. If women don't have the inclination or the ability to sustain a business … this can mean loss of jobs, customers cut off from access to goods and services they depend on, unstable economies, etc.”
As a result, Kelley said, the rates of entrepreneurship in a country need to be weighed against the impact of the entrepreneurs.
“While some economies may have fewer entrepreneurs, they may be proportionately more likely to have greater impact in such areas as innovation, job creation (and) selling globally,” Kelley said.
Interested readers can get more information on the report's contents by accessing a page on the Babson College website.