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A new study by the European Commission entitled ‘Women in the Digital Age’ has found that female digital entrepreneurship is on a slow increase. Female entrepreneurship itself contributes significantly to economic growth and reduces poverty both in industrialised and emerging countries.
According to section 3, in OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, the number of female owned businesses is at around 30%. As well, female entrepreneurs were found to represent 37% of the total number of entrepreneurs in Europe (according to the European Working Conditions Survey, 2015).
While almost half of start-ups belong to the digital economy, the study found that from the 2,515 start-ups and 6,340 founders, only 14.8% were women. Although, within this, Lithuania had the highest percentage of entrepreneurial women among EU-28 countries at 39.5%.
It was also determined that 6 countries within the EU are among the top 10 for female entrepreneurs: the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Sweden and Finland. As well, all EU countries featured in the study were among the top 40 for female entrepreneurship.Thus this suggests that European countries have suitable conditions for higher numbers of female entrepreneurship.
In terms of entrepreneurship within the European ICT sector, there has been some progress made in terms of female participation – the number was previously below 20% but is now at 23.4%. Despite this small percentage, the study found that female-owned digital start-ups are more likely to be successful and investments in female-founded start-ups perform 63% better than male-founded ones.
A significant trend also established that female entrepreneurs in the ICT sector tend to work in larger companies than in the previous years. For example, in 2010 nearly all female entrepreneurs worked in micro-enterprises.
Overall, section 3 of the study suggests that while progress is slow within female digital entrepreneurship, those that are involved are likely to be successful. Read the full study here.