MEPs urge EU member states to remove hurdles for women entrepreneurs, and table strategies for making full use of female entrepreneurship potential to boost growth and prosperity, in a draft resolution to be debated on Monday and voted on Tuesday.
About one-third of EU entrepreneurs are women. The specific hurdles that they face include gaining access to funding and bank loans, unbalanced sharing of family responsibilities, a lack of childcare facilities and stereotypes about leadership qualities, says the text drafted by the Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee.
The draft resolution calls on member states to:
- facilitate and simplify access to finance,
- include gender quotas in targeted support,
- use EU funds to guarantee affordable quality care for children and older people,
- improve the work/life balance (e.g. by promoting paternity leave), and
- promote an entrepreneurial culture in education and training and encourage more women to choose careers in scientific, finance and high-growth, profitable sectors (e.g. new technologies, including green technology, digital environments and IT).
Note to editors
- Women accounted for just 31% of entrepreneurs (10.3 million) in the EU-28 in 2012 (Commission report on Statistical data on Women entrepreneurs in Europe, 2014)
- Female entrepreneurs tend to concentrate on sectors that are considered less profitable, such as education, health care and community work, whereas men predominate in high-growth-potential sectors such as technology and IT
- Women are more likely than men to prefer working as an employee (by a margin of 63% to 53%) and men are more likely than women to favour self-employment (42% to 33%) (Flash Eurobarometer 2012)
- 30% of female entrepreneurs work part-time, compared to 12% of men
- Female entrepreneur incomes were 6% lower than men’s in 2012
- Women’s businesses tend to remain smaller: only 23% of female entrepreneurs in the EU are employers, compared to 30% of men. (Commission (2014), report on Statistical data on Women entrepreneurs in Europe)
Procedure: Non-legislative resolution
Debate: Monday, 18 January
Vote: Tuesday, 19 January