Business columns: The gender gap among entrepreneurs
Studies repeatedly confirm that American women are only about half as likely as men to go into business for themselves, said Scott Shane in The American.
Decade after decade, the numbers don’t change, said Scott Shane. Studies repeatedly confirm that American women are only about half as likely as men to go into business for themselves. Explanations for this phenomenon fall into two camps: the “politically correct” and the “economically correct.”
The first explanation is that women have less access to capital, education, and business know-how. But there’s little evidence that women have a harder time than men in accessing capital, and women, on average, are better educated and more likely to have managerial experience. That leaves us with the “economically more accurate” explanation: “Women are less interested in running their own businesses.” This attitude doesn’t emerge only after women join the workforce; for more than 40 years, male high school students have been far more likely than female students to say that running their own business is a personal goal.
Given its persistence, “the solution to the entrepreneurship gender gap” is clear: We must instill a passion for entrepreneurship while tomorrow’s businesswomen are still girls.