Edited by Sandra L. Fielden and Marilyn J. Davidson
Chapter 13: Women into Enterprise – A European and International Perspective
Mary van der Boon Introduction The aim of this chapter is to review the position of women into enterprise from a global perspective, with particular emphasis on ‘push’–‘pull’ factors of opportunity, motivation, barriers and situational constraints. As illustrated in this Handbook, most of the available data comes from the United States and the United Kingdom, however eﬀort has been made to speciﬁcally review other European and international data on women into entrepreneurship. Women and entrepreneurship – an international perspective According to the United Nations the percentage of women economically active varies widely around the world, from a high of 56 to 58 per cent in Eastern and Central Asia and Eastern Europe to a low 21 per cent in Northern Africa. Across the world, women-owned ﬁrms typically comprise between one quarter and one third of the business population, although this is growing rapidly (Franks, 2000). Similarly, as outlined in Chapter 11, studies of small and medium-sized businesses in New Zealand reveal a ‘spectacular’ increase in women business owners (McGregor and Tweed, 2001). There is a high presence of self-employed women particularly in North America (Canada, Mexico and the United States), Australia, Japan and in the North European countries, while it is lower in the countries of South Europe, especially Turkey, Greece and Italy. Between 1976 and 1996 there was a signiﬁcant increase in the percentage of self-employed women in the United States and in Australia, while there was a decrease in Finland and in Italy (EU India...
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