An overview of women entrepreneurship in the EU and surrounding countries
Survey published by the Eurochambres Women's Network on the situation of women entrepreneurs in the EU, addressing many aspects from skills to work-life balance, access to finance and the challenges of digitalization. It aims to provide an insight into what it means for a woman to start a business in today's environment, with the hope that the findings of the survey will help stakeholders to develop more targeted initiatives and measures to support women entrepreneurs across Europe. The survey collected 823 responses from women entrepreneurs, self-employed women, and top woman managers from 24 countries, both in the EU and in neighboring countries.
Main findings of the survey:
- Bureaucracy: 40% of respondents asked that decision-makers, especially at local level, should simplify procedures related to initiatives to support entrepreneurs, and women entrepreneurs in particular.
- Access to finance: the majority of women entrepreneurs indicated that the fact of being a woman is not necessarily impacting the access to financing means. The most common reasons behind their struggles in accessing finance are the difficult for any business to obtain financing (i.e lack of viability or profitability of the project).
- Equal opportunities: There is a need to change the mentality so that there is an equal distribution of both women and men in all sectors of work. Women entrepreneurs believe it is important for young women to become familiar with more technical professional disciplines that may encourage them to choose different career paths from those currently common.
- Equal pay: Almost half of the entrepreneurs consider that if they were men it would have been easier to receive more. At the same time, respondents also pointed out that it is more difficult to reach a managerial position. More needs to be done, at private and public level, to ensure that senior positions are equally accessible to women and men and that remuneration is independent of the sex of the worker.
- Reconciliation of work and family life: Women are particularly affected because there are still a consistent number of women who have to deal solely or to a greater extent with domestic/care tasks. A cultural change is needed, although more households than before are now based on a more balanced sharing of responsibilities.
- Sustainable and digital transformation: 60% of women entrepreneurs are positively adopting new sustainable and digital processes and technologies. More means are needed to finance these changes and also, where grants already exist, more information campaigns, both at national and local level. 78% of women entrepreneurs' responses considered insufficient financial resources and/or lack of financial support from third parties as the main obstacle to investing in sustainability.