The Nordic countries are viewed as forerunners on gender equality and women’s labour force participation. However, there are far fewer women than men starting businesses. The Nordics are often considered to be culturally similar: they have similar social systems, economic structures, labour markets, concepts of democracy, models of the welfare state, and universal public services. Nevertheless, there are clear differences in the share of female entrepreneurs across the Nordics. Why is this?
Female Entrepreneurship in the Nordics 2020 - comparative study is looking at the current entreprenurial landscape in the Nordics. The study is concluded with measures to stimulate female entrepreneurship.
Key findings from the study
Women have less access to role models and smaller networks, which makes them less likely to innovate.
If the entrepreneurial culture is male dominated it is difficult for women to succeed.
Female entrepreneurs have less access to external funding than male entrepreneurs, which makes it difficult for them to expand.
Framework conditions are especially important for enabling female entrepreneurship.
Female entrepreneurs are at risk of being especially hardly hit by COVID-19.
Measures to stimulate female entrepreneurship
What can be done to increase the number of female entrepreneurs in general and female growth entrepreneurship more specifically? Below, is a list of measures that Menon Economics find can be relevant and effective in increasing the number of female entrepreneurs with a significant growth potential.
- Establish more comprehensive female Nordic mentoring schemes and networks
- Increase female entrepreneurs’ access to capital
- Remove competitive disadvantages in industries where women often operate as entrepreneurs
- Establish a scheme for commercialization leave at universities and colleges
The study is carried out by Menon Economics for Nordic Innovation.
The study is part of the Nordic Female Entrepreneurship initiative, running from 2018 - 2021.
We thank the national statistical agencies and Bureau Van Djik for data and valuable guidance.