IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Female Entrepreneurship and Economic Activity


  • Maria Minniti

    () (Southern Methodist University – Strategy, Entrepreneurship & Business Economics, Dallas, TX 75275, USA.)


Several studies and aid programs claim the contribution to welfare resulting from female entrepreneurship to be higher than that resulting from the activity of men. Unfortunately, however, the number of women entrepreneurs is significantly lower than that of men. Although quite a bit of attention has been paid to the existence of gender differences in entrepreneurial behavior, the causes of such differences are significantly less understood. No general agreement exists on whether they result from contextual or evolutionary causes and, in particular, no consensus exists on whether such differences are, at least to some extent, linked to the per-capita GDP of a country. Using a large set of data covering individuals from 34 nations, this article makes an initial attempt to address these questions. Although exploratory, the results suggest that per-capita GDP levels are significantly associated with the gender gap in entrepreneurial behavior but that subjective perceptions also play an important role. In contrast, individual demographic and economic conditions are found to be of relatively little importance.Un certain nombre d’études et de programmes d’assistance affirment que la contribution de l’entreprenariat féminin au bien-être social est plus importante que la contribution résultant des activités des hommes. Cependant, le nombre de femmes entrepreneurs est malheureusement sensiblement moins élevé que celui des hommes. Une attention relativement soutenue est consacrée à l’existence de différences entre les hommes et les femmes dans leur comportement entrepreneurial, mais les causes de telles différences sont nettement moins bien comprises. Il n’existe aucun consensus sur les causes, contextuelles ou évolutives, de ces différences; Plus spécifiquement, il n’y a pas de consensus pour dire que de telles différences sont, au moins en partie, liées au PIB par habitant des pays. En se basant sur une grande base de données concernant les individus de 34 pays, cet article fait une première tentative d’exploration de ces questions. Bien qu’exploratoires, les résultats suggèrent que les niveaux de PIB par habitant ont un rapport significatif avec les différences entre les hommes et les femmes dans leurs comportements entrepreneuriaux, mais que les perceptions individuelles jouent également un rôle important. Par contraste, on constate que les conditions individuelles démographiques et économiques ont une influence relativement peu importante.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria Minniti, 2010. "Female Entrepreneurship and Economic Activity," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 22(3), pages 294-312, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:eurjdr:v:22:y:2010:i:3:p:294-312

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text PDF
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text HTML
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Susanna Kinnman & Magnus Lodefalk, 2007. "What is at Stake in the Doha Round?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(8), pages 1305-1325, August.
    2. Paul A. Samuelson, 2004. "Where Ricardo and Mill Rebut and Confirm Arguments of Mainstream Economists Supporting Globalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 135-146, Summer.
    3. Antoine Bouët & Simon Mevel & David Orden, 2007. "More or Less Ambition in the Doha Round: Winners and Losers from Trade Liberalisation with a Development Perspective," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(8), pages 1253-1280, August.
    4. Shafaeddin, Mehdi, 2006. "Is The Industrial Policy Relevant In The 21st Century?," MPRA Paper 6643, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Saul Estrin & Tomasz Mickiewicz, 2011. "Institutions and female entrepreneurship," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 397-415, November.
    2. Ghani, Ejaz & Kerr, William R. & O'Connell, Stephen D., 2014. "Political reservations and women's entrepreneurship in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 138-153.
    3. Jorge, Velilla, 2017. "Feminization of entrepreneurship in developing countries? Evidence from GEM data," MPRA Paper 79997, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Campos,Francisco Moraes Leitao & Goldstein,Markus P. & Mcgorman,Laura & Munoz Boudet,Ana Maria & Pimhidzai,Obert, 2015. "Breaking the metal ceiling : female entrepreneurs who succeed in male-dominated sectors," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7503, The World Bank.
    5. Sara Poggesi & Michela Mari & Luisa Vita, 2016. "What’s new in female entrepreneurship research? Answers from the literature," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 735-764, September.
    6. Schulz, Matthias & Urbig, Diemo & Procher, Vivien, 2016. "Hybrid entrepreneurship and public policy: The case of firm entry deregulation," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 272-286.
    7. Irene Fafaliou & Ioannis Salamouris, 2014. "Analyze Female Entrepreneurship: Evidence from Greece," International Journal of Economics & Business Administration (IJEBA), International Journal of Economics & Business Administration (IJEBA), vol. 0(1), pages 21-38.
    8. Bögenhold, Dieter & Fachinger, Uwe, 2013. "Weibliche Solo-Selbstständigkeit zwischen Notwendigkeit und Innovationsherausforderung: Beobachtungen über Geschlecht und Unternehmertum in Deutschland
      [Female Solo-Self-Employment Between Necessit
      ," MPRA Paper 51460, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Ghani, Ejaz & Kerr, William R. & O'Connell, Stephen D., 2013. "Female business ownership and informal sector persistence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6612, The World Bank.
    10. Mina Baliamoune-Lutz & Stefan Lutz, 2017. "Financing and performance of female-owned firms in Middle Eastern and African Economies," Documentos de Trabajo del ICAE 2017-09, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico.
    11. Ghani,Syed Ejaz & Grover,Arti & Kerr,Sari & Kerr,William Robert, 2016. "Will market competition trump gender discrimination in India ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7814, The World Bank.
    12. Ewa Lechman & Anna Okonowicz, 2013. "Are Women Important For Economic Development? An Evidence On Women’S Participation In Labor Market And Their Contribution To Economic Growth In 83 World Countries," GUT FME Working Paper Series A 13, Faculty of Management and Economics, Gdansk University of Technology.
    13. repec:rss:jnljse:v2i3p6 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Bögenhold, Dieter & Fachinger, Uwe, 2014. "Rationality of Self-Employment: Do Female and Male Entrepreneurs Differ?," MPRA Paper 58116, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Peter Zwan & Ingrid Verheul & A. Thurik, 2012. "The entrepreneurial ladder, gender, and regional development," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 627-643, October.
    16. Thilde Langevang & Katherine V. Gough & Paul W. K. Yankson & George Owusu & Robert Osei, 2015. "Bounded Entrepreneurial Vitality: The Mixed Embeddedness of Female Entrepreneurship," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 91(4), pages 449-473, October.
    17. Celestine Katongole & John C. Munene & Muhammed Ngoma & Samuel Dawa & Arthur Sserwanga, 2015. "Entrepreneur’s Intrapersonal Resources and Enterprise Success among Micro and Small Scale Women Entrepreneurs," Journal of Enterprising Culture (JEC), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 23(04), pages 405-447, December.
    18. Xavier Cirera & Qursum Qasim, 2014. "Supporting Growth-Oriented Women Entrepreneurs," World Bank Other Operational Studies 23654, The World Bank.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pal:eurjdr:v:22:y:2010:i:3:p:294-312. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.