Pernille WEISS MEP
Rapporteur on “Reaching women’s economic independence through entrepreneurship and self-employment” in the FEMM Committee; Board Member of SME Europe of the EPP
Associate Professor of Economics at Univeristy
of Santiago de Compostela (Spain); Author of the EPRS study “Women’s entrepreneurship and self-employment, including aspects of gendered Corporate Social Responsibility”
Dr. Erica SANTINI (tbc)
Head of Research, Startup Heatmap Europe; Author of the research “Female Entrepreneurs in Europe”
Founder and CEO, Nordic Female Founders
Sophie TRELLES-TVEDE (tbc)
Chief Executive and Founder of Invisibobble
Paula PUL (tbc)
A serial entrepreneur and founder of a string of businesses, mentor and investor; Co-founder and Managing Partner at LAWMORE; Named Poland’s 30 under 30 by Forbes
Prof. Dr. Christoph VON EINEM (tbc)
President of the Venture Capital Club Munich
Entrepreneurship plays an important role in creating jobs, innovation and growth, but women remain substantially under-represented as entrepreneurs. Women constitute 52% of the total European population but only 34.4% of the EU self-employed and 30% of start-up entrepreneurs. Women’s entrepreneurship takes various forms through a wide range of industries, and is a significant factor for today’s economies, especially through SMEs in the European Union. Statistics show that women create roughly only a third of companies, however, female entrepreneurs have more difficulties than men in raising finance. Due to structural inequalities and persistent biases women-led companies still account for a very small portion of investments. All-male founding teams receive almost 92% of all capital investment in Europe. Then again, the overwhelming majority of investors are men who tend to invest in ventures run by all-male founding teams. Therefore, there is an obvious gap and need for stronger empowerment of women entrepreneurs. Furthermore, many factors, including stereotyping, family responsibilities and greater involvement in unpaid work, make entrepreneurship a less attractive option for women than for men. There is no doubt, however, that entrepreneurship offers an opportunity to strengthen women’s role as business leaders and to bring cultural and societal change. Female entrepreneurial potential are an under-exploited source of economic growth and jobs that should be further developed as well as women are missing in the emerging and high paying sectors and are underrepresented in decision-making.
In our pursuit of raising awareness about participation and acknowledging the gender disbalance in entrepreneurship, to contribute to the upcoming proposal for a gender-aware framework for entrepreneurship for policymakers, our virtual discussion will focus on several issues:
What are the constraints that women face when deciding to become entrepreneurs?
What factors attract women’s interest and motivate them to start their own business?
Which policies may benefit women’s entrepreneurship?
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