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Posted by on in Sex Discrimination
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EU needs more women entrepreneurs

Women's entrepreneurial potential is underexploited and the EU needs more women entrepreneurs to create growth and new jobs.

This was the main message of the European SME Week Summit in Brussels, which focused on encouraging women to consider setting up and running their own business, usually a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME).

The fact that women only account for 34.4% of the self-employed in Europe suggests that they need more encouragement to become entrepreneurs.

While European women are at least as well educated as men, only a few decide to set up a company in the fifteen years following their graduation. Lack of take-up can partly be explained by difficulties they encounter in reconciling private and professional activities.

In addition, existing business set-up support systems are not always tailored to women’s specific needs. Concerns faced by potential women entrepreneurs include greater difficulty accessing financing, professional networks and training and a possible lack of confidence due to the absence of appropriate role models.

Women also tend to be cautious and take more calculated risks, and to focus on creating companies in familiar areas and for which they can benefit from family support. They can fail to take full advantage of networking opportunities and often grow their businesses slowly and only if their family situation allows them to work long hours with a good probability of success. Women therefore require tailor-made support measures when setting up their businesses.

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