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GEM Report 2022 – That’s What GEM Said!

by Ruchika Verma
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GEM Report highlights the global trends in women entrepreneurship.

A lot has been said about women entrepreneurs, and it continues to be an ongoing discourse. The way women entrepreneurs are scaling new heights every day is a revolutionary feat. However, despite this, much is left to be desired as per the latest GEM report titled ‘2021/2022 Women’s Entrepreneurship Report.’ It puts a focus on the state of female entrepreneurship two years after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report has found a considerable drop in the ventures started by women entrepreneurs. There has been a sharp decline in women’s inclination to start a business. GEM report has called for actionable plans to support women entrepreneurs to stop any further decline. The report has focused on the solutions and how looking at this problem through a gender-based lens can be beneficial. Below, we have explained what GEM report says about women entrepreneurship trends of the last few years in detail.

What is GEM?

GEM stands for Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. It runs surveys and releases reports outlining the major changes in the entrepreneurial landscape. These survey-based reports released by GEM are an essential indicator of the economic and social impact created by entrepreneurs and how it is constantly evolving.

GEM’s 2021/2022 Women’s Entrepreneurship Report highlighted concerns regarding the declining rate of women’s entrepreneurship in the last two years. The survey took place in 50 countries. The report authored by Amanda Elam highlights the gender concerns in addition to proposing solutions to the issues faced by women entrepreneurs. It consists of guidance and an outline of suggestions and changes policymakers should consider to improve the participation of women entrepreneurs and encourage their ventures.

GEM Report’s Findings on Global Women Entrepreneurship Trends

Even though, on the surface, women’s entrepreneurship seems to be flourishing, it is going through considerable hardships. There has been a considerable decline in the participation of women in businesses. It is an economic as well as social concern that needs to be addressed. The following are some of the key findings GEM report found about the trends of women entrepreneurship around the world.

  • In the last two years, the exit rates of women in business have increased from 2.9% to 3.6%. In contrast, the same for men has been more, with an increase from 3.5% to 4.4%.
  • The surprising element is the ratio of women from the upper-middle-income. Their exit rate increased by 74%, whereas it was only 34% for men.
  • Almost 50% of women entrepreneurs globally are involved in wholesale/retail.
  • According to GEM Report, every one in five female entrepreneurs is in the government and social services sector
  • The total percentage of women venturing into the domains of information, computers, and technology (ICT) in the sector is 2.7%. It is also important to note here that these are the sectors that draw the majority of venture capital dollars worldwide.
  • Women were also found to be less active than men in business in all the countries that were a part of this report’s survey. Lower-income countries had the biggest gender gap, whereas the middle-income countries had the least gap between men and women operating businesses.
  • The GEM report survey also concluded that women own every one in three businesses. This is a great indication of the potential female entrepreneurship has in the coming years.

Call for Action to Support Women Entrepreneurs

Even though the GEM report survey shows less than favorable results, Elam has called for action in support of women entrepreneurs. She has analyzed the problems and has offered solutions that can be incorporated to increase the rate of participation of women in the industry. These problems and solutions are mostly based on gender issues and have been discussed through the same lens.

The focus is on the eradication of notions that encourage gender disparity. Elam has provided a detailed view of problems and probable solutions in the report. The call for action majorly focuses on policymakers creating an environment that enables women to focus on their entrepreneurship goals.

  • Women entrepreneurs remain underrepresented in traditionally male-dominated sectors. The negative stereotypes are strong, especially in the male-dominated sectors. To combat this, policymakers should provide support to women entrepreneurs by providing them with equality and equal opportunities in all industries.
  • According to the GEM report, every one in three entrepreneurs with high potential is a woman. However, there is a shortage of funding possibilities and resources available to them. Policymakers need to create policies that are friendly to women entrepreneurs and assist them in mobilizing funds.
  • There also needs to be policies that encourage the dissension of resources to currently active female entrepreneurs. This will encourage them to continue their businesses.
  • A change in structural barriers is encouraged to rid the general perception of negative stereotypes against women. As suggested by academic research and the GEM report, women and men have similar chances of gaining success in starting businesses in comparable industries. Policymakers should encourage the further spread this narrative to reduce gender disparity.
  • There has not been much cultural support for women entrepreneurs, as many experts note. One of the best ways to curb this is to promote female entrepreneurs. There is a need to celebrate their achievements and promote them as role models to encourage other women to pursue their entrepreneurial ventures.

Key Takeaways

The GEM report is certainly an eye-opener and a reality check regarding the participation of women in business ventures. While the report mentions the figures, it also mentions its causes and actionable plans that can help improve the situation. There are various women businesses successfully running, and these figures ought to become role models for other women who have yet to embark on their journeys. We should note the possibilities and potential highlighted in the report.

One of the most important takeaways is the fact that the state of female entrepreneurship required immediate action. The stock of responsibility lies with policymakers as well as the community of entrepreneurs to take measures that will lead to increased participation of women in businesses. One needs to move beyond the redundant stereotypes and work to inculcate a culture where equality prevails regarding respect and opportunities.

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