Women more likely to be "missing entrepreneurs" says OECD

People over 50 are also more likely to face barriers including finances that are halting their business start-up ambitions

Women more likely to be "missing entrepreneurs" says OECD
Steve Randall

Millions of people across the OECD member nations could be running their own businesses, but face barriers to doing so.

An OECD report published today (Nov. 29) reveals that women and people over 50 are more likely to be these “missing entrepreneurs” due to barriers including access to finance, skills, and networks.

The report says that not enabling these start-ups is costing economies in terms of ideas, innovation, and jobs.

“A lack of diversity in entrepreneurship is a missed opportunity to create employment and growth in the wake of COVID-19,” said OECD Deputy Secretary-General Yoshiki Takeuchi. “More funding, investment in skills and support for the diverse needs of different entrepreneurs are critical for creating equality of opportunity for those aspiring to run their own business.”

The OECD’s research found that 9% of women were starting and managing new businesses compared to 13% of men. 

It also revealed that 30-49 year old men were more frequently involved in start-ups than younger people 18-30 years of age, and half of the “missing entrepreneurs” are over 50.

What needs to be done?

The OECD is calling for a multi-pronged approach to address the gaps.

1. Address gaps in finance, such as increasing microfinance designed for people who cannot access traditional loans and investments since there is significant unmet demand for these financial products;

2. Close skills gaps with entrepreneurship training and coaching adapted to the needs of different population groups, e.g. boosting self-confidence of women entrepreneurs; and

3. Use tailored schemes to address systemic biases in entrepreneurship support systems, the greater obstacles faced in business creation by groups such as women, immigrants, youth, seniors and the unemployed, as well as varied local conditions.

The full report is at: https://www.oecd.org/industry/the-missing-entrepreneurs-43c2f41c-en.htm