Policy cycle in entrepreneurship
In this phase, it’s recommended to gather information on the situation of women and men in a certain area. This means looking for sex-disaggregated data and gender statistics, as well as checking for the existence of studies, programme or project reports, and/or evaluations from previous periods.
Examples of gender and entrepreneurship statistics
At the EU level, relevant databases and indexes have been developed to address the dimension of gender and entrepreneurship. Don’t forget to check databases that may also exist at the level of the Member States.
Eurostat – the European Union Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS)
This provides the main aggregated statistics on labour market outcomes in the European Union. The EU-LFS is the main data source for employment and unemployment. Tables on population, employment, working hours, permanency of job, professional status etc. are included.
It provides disaggregated statistics by sex, age groups, economic activity, education attainment and field of education, type of employment (part-time, temporary work), self-employment, from which it is possible to measure the characteristics of labour force of women. In particular, data on self-employment with sex disaggregation are available.
EIGE – gender statistics
EIGE assists EU institutions and the Member States in the collection, analysis and dissemination of objective, reliable and comparable information and data on equality between women and men. The gender statistics database provides statistics on the indicators established and implemented for monitoring the BPfA critical areas of concern. Indicators related to entrepreneurship and self-employment are included in Area F – Women and the Economy.
OECD: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
The ongoing OECD’s gender initiative aims to strengthen gender equality in education, employment and entrepreneurship (the ‘three Es’). To reinforce the collection and monitoring of gender-specific indicators, the OECD updates its gender data portal on 8 March each year for International Women’s Day. The portal provides a rich set of actualised indicators on gender equality in the ‘three Es’ showing how far we are from achieving gender equality and where action is most needed. It also includes short highlights on some selected gender issues.
Global Entrepreneurship Monitor
The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) is a study of entrepreneurship providing information, reports and stories which enhance the understanding of the entrepreneurial phenomenon. The GEM provides entrepreneurship indicators and custom charts, graphs and maps and dataset.
UNSD, UN women project
Evidence and data for gender equality (EDGE) - This is a project that seeks to accelerate existing efforts to generate comparable gender indicators on health, education, employment, entrepreneurship and asset ownership. The activities of the project include the development of a platform for international data and metadata compilation covering basic health, education and employment indicators, the development of standards and guidelines for measuring assets and entrepreneurship indicators, and the pilot of data collection on assets and entrepreneurship in several countries.
Examples of studies, research and reports
Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute (GEDI)
Female entrepreneurship index, 2015 report - In this study the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute (GEDI), developed a women’s entrepreneurship index – the Gender GEDI – measuring the development of potential female entrepreneurship. Once a gender analysis has identified the opportunities and obstacles for female entrepreneurship, it is easier to plan improvement.
Panteia Research to Progress (2014)
Study on statistical data on women entrepreneurs in Europe. This study was carried out at the request of the European Commission DG Enterprise and Industry in order to gather available statistical data on women entrepreneurs in Europe. The study objective was to collect, analyse and systematically present the most recent data on women entrepreneurs in Europe-37 (which includes the 28 EU Member States, Albania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Israel, Turkey, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Norway and Serbia).
The European Commission’s Directorate-General: Enterprise and Industry
Eurobarometer, entrepreneurship in the EU and beyond, 2012. This studies the development of entrepreneurship in EU Member States for over a decade. This series of surveys has also endeavoured to compare the state of affairs within the EU by comparing the EU data with data from a range of non-EU countries. In the edition of 2012 of the survey () there are several analysis from a gender perspective.
Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM)
2010 Report. In this report the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor found that women are driven more than men by the need to obtain an appropriate work–family balance, with women using the opportunity to fulfil family obligations and start small businesses to (re)integrate into the labour market. Moreover it found that given the possible existence of a so-called glass ceiling (obstacles to achieving managerial positions), women could move more often towards entrepreneurship out of frustration.
Example of gender analysis
One of the first steps to take when defining your policy/project/programme is to gather information and analyse the situation of women and men in the respective policy domain. The information and data you collected will allow an understanding of the reality and assist you in designing your policy, programme or project. Specific methods that can be used in this phase are gender analysis and gender impact assessment.
Tips for conducting a gender analysis at the activity or project level. The purpose of this document is to provide practical guidance for conducting gender analysis in project or activity design. A specific section is dedicated to a set of questions that should be posed in the context of designing an entrepreneurship programme.
Example of a gender impact assessment
Gender impact analysis of selected support measures for entrepreneurship in Serbia, 2012. This report assesses to what extent female entrepreneurs have had access to selected governmental support programmes for entrepreneurship in Serbia during 2009 and 2010. It has been commissioned by the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development (MoERD), with the support of UN Women, as part of their efforts in 2011 to assess the gender impact of selected government measures in support of entrepreneurship. It entails indications on the methodology used to assess gender impact.
Examples of stakeholders that can be consulted
Consider consulting stakeholders (e.g. gender experts, civil society organisations) on the topic at hand, to share and validate your findings and to improve your policy or programme proposal. This will enhance the learning process on the subject for all those involved and will improve the quality of the work done at the EU level. Stakeholders consultation process will start in this phase, but could also be considered as an important method to be applied along all the policy cycle’s phases.
European Network to Promote Women’s Entrepreneurship (WES)
This is a policy network with members from 31 European countries (the EU-28, Iceland, Norway and Turkey), whose delegates, representing national governments and institutions, are responsible for promoting and supporting female entrepreneurship at national level. WES is a discussion partner of the European Union and its members provide advice, support, information and contacts regarding existing support measures for women entrepreneurs. They also help identify good practices.
European Network of Female Entrepreneurship Ambassadors
In 2009, the European Commission inaugurated the European Network of Female Entrepreneurship Ambassadors to serve as inspirational role models for potential women entrepreneurs. The network is made up of around 270 entrepreneurs coming from 22 European countries.
European Network of Mentors for Women Entrepreneurs
In 2011 the European Commission inaugurated the European Network of Mentors for Women Entrepreneurs, who voluntarily provide counselling services to women starting and running new businesses. The mentors’ network enforces and complements the actions to promote, support and encourage women’s entrepreneurship.
European Entrepreneurship Education Network
The network exchanges information and experience, improving and creating synergies between the many initiatives in the field; moreover it is engaged in outreach and awareness activities as well as policy recommendations across several work streams that include national strategies, partnerships with business, support for teachers and the role of regional authorities.
It is a focal point for entrepreneurship education in Europe bringing together organisations and individuals from both the public and private sectors with strong records of accomplishment in entrepreneurship education at regional, national and European level. The EE-HUB is designed as the space where these stakeholders can work collectively to increase levels of entrepreneurial activities in schools across Europe.
Eurochambres Women’s Network
The Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry launched the Eurochambres Women’s Network aimed at supporting female entrepreneurship in Europe. The network pursues the following objectives:
- promoting the exchange of information and the promotion of specific points of view within the network
- providing structured support to speed the development of women’s entrepreneurship, including the dissemination of ‘best practices’
- promoting the participation in public-private partnerships at local, national and European level
- encouraging the recognition of rights on equal opportunities
- providing support for institutional lobbying at all levels
- participating actively in the development of corporate social responsibility
- encouraging better conditions to promote a balance between private and professional life.
World Bank, Women’s Finance Hub
The World Bank is working to promote financial inclusion for women and in 2013 launched the Women’s Finance Hub, an online collaborative platform, as part of the SME finance forum. It aims to further advance access to finance for women-owned businesses by addressing missing data, disseminating research, promoting best practices and providing information on critical issues related to the women’s market at both international and European level.
For a detailed description of how gender can be mainstreamed in this phase of the policy cycle, click here.
In this phase, it’s appropriate to analyse budgets from a gender perspective. Gender budgeting is used to identify how budget allocations contribute to promoting gender equality. Gender budgeting brings visibility to how much public money is spent for women and men respectively. Thus, gender budgeting ensures that public funds are fairly distributed between women and men. It also contributes to accountability and transparency about how public funds are being spent.
Example of gender budgeting in entrepreneurship
UNDP, Gender responsiveness budget
Manual for trainers, 2005. The manual provide a set of lessons and tools addressed to trainers and resource people for gender-responsive budget (GRB) initiatives. Although not specifically focused on entrepreneurship, its tools can also be used in this field.
Examples of indicators for monitoring gender and entrepreneurship
When planning, don’t forget to establish monitoring and evaluation systems and indicators that will enable you to measure and compare the impact of the policy or programme on women and men over the timeframe of its implementation. Remember to define the appropriate times to monitor and evaluate your policy.
Percentage of entrepreneurs in total active labour force (entrepreneurship rate) by sex - BPfA Area F – Women and the Economy
Entrepreneurs are defined as who work in their own business, farm or professional practice to make a profit, and spend time on the operation of a business, or are in the process of setting up a business. These entrepreneurs consider the running of their enterprises to be their main activity. This definition is the same as the definition of a self-employed person in the labour force survey (LSF) database of Eurostat. Self-employed people may have one or more one or more persons and/or family workers or no people. In this case, they are defined as solo entrepreneurs, that is people who operate their own economic enterprise, or engage independently in a profession or trade. Solo entrepreneurs are also known as own account workers. The entrepreneurship rate is a good indicator to compare the entrepreneurial level of women and men in and between countries.
The entrepreneurship rate expresses the percentage of entrepreneurs in the total active labour force. The indicator is also included for the monitoring of Area F – Women and the Economy, named as Self-employment as percentage of total employment for women and men by age groups (15 – 64, 20 – 64, 15 – 24, 25 – 54, 55 – 64). This indicator provides information on the proportion of self-employed as a percentage of total employed persons. In 2013, self-employed women 15 – 64 are 9.8% of the total employed women, compared to 18.2% of men. The indicator is calculated from the Eurostat EU-LFS survey and available on the EIGE gender statistics page. Data for calculation are included in the Eurostat labour market database (online data code: lfsa_egaps).
Share of self-employed with and without employees by sex - BPfA Area F – Women and the Economy
The indicator is calculated as the percentage of self-employed persons with employees (employers) and without employees (own-account workers) from total employment. Self-employed persons are those who work in their own business, farm or professional practice. A self-employed person is considered to be working if she/he meets one of the following criteria: works for the purpose of earning profit, spends time on the operation of a business or is in the process of setting up her/his business. Self-employment embraces a wide range of work statuses and activities with different degrees of economic conditions and independence. Thus, it is important to distinguish among the self-employed with employees (employers) from those who work on their own (own-account workers). The share of self-employed with employees may be considered a better proxy for entrepreneurship than the share of overall self-employed in total employment although it remains unclear whether it adequately measures the concept. Moreover, the share of self-employed without employees can also incorporate a number of ‘bogus’ self-employed persons. The indicator is included for the monitoring of Area F – Women and the Economy. In 2013, self-employed women on their own account were 7.5% of the total employed women, compared to 12.6% of men. The indicator is calculated from Eurostat EU-LFS survey and is available on the EIGE gender statistics page (). Data for calculation are included in the Eurostat labour market database (online data code: lfsa_egaps).
When preparing calls for proposals in the framework of funding programmes, or terms of reference in the context of public procurement procedures (notably for contractors to be hired for policy support services), don’t forget to formalise gender-related requirements. This will ensure the projects and services which the European Commission will fund are not gender-blind or gender biased.
For a more detailed description of how gender can be mainstreamed in this phase of the policy cycle, click here.
In the implementation phase of a policy or programme, ensure that all who are involved are sufficiently aware about the relevant gender objectives and plans. If not, set up briefings and capacity-building initiatives according to staff needs. Think about researchers, proposal evaluators, monitoring and evaluation experts, scientific officers, programme committee members, etc.
Examples of capacity-building initiatives about gender and entrepreneurship
Women Entrepreneurs’ Association (WEA) capacity-building guide
This is a training package designed to assist women entrepreneurs’ associations in improving and sustaining their organisation. The emphasis is on the improvement of the capacity-building of the associations and on strengthening their ability to serve and advocate for their members.
Hungary – DOBBANTÓ: Women entrepreneur competence development
This is an accredited intensive training programme which includes the main elements of business start-up and how to run a business, but also looks at self-consciousness and communication skills.
World Bank - Resource point on female entrepreneurship
This online portal ‘responds to increasing demands for best practices and tools to integrate gender in private sector development and entrepreneurship promotion programmes, and address the needs and constraints faced by female entrepreneurs’ (World Bank, 2013b). It provides tools and guidelines, examples and good practices, findings of evaluations of projects and programmes, findings of studies and research and statistical data on the topic. The Resource Point provides four modules ‘to help task teams identify and address issues that limit women’s entrepreneurship opportunities’.
During the implementation of your policy or programme, publications, communications and press releases might be issued. Don’t forget to give visibility to gender issues and to pay attention to the language and visuals: these can convey gender stereotypes and gendered concepts, but they can also contribute to deconstructing stereotypes.
Example of gender language in entrepreneurship
Words matter: recognising the power of gendered language in entrepreneurship (October 6) - Williams, E., Sheffield, R., Tossan, V. and Etzol, P. (2014)
This paper presents the result of a survey on the traits of the ‘perfect’ entrepreneur showing that these are still gender biased.
A policy cycle or programme should be checked both during monitoring – and at the end – evaluation, of its implementation.
Monitoring the ongoing work allows for the follow-up of progress and remedying unforeseen difficulties. This exercise should take into account the indicators delineated in the planning phase and data collection based on those indicators.
At the end of a policy cycle or programme, a gender-sensitive evaluation should take place. Make your evaluation publicly accessible and strategically disseminate its results to promote its learning potential.
Example of a monitoring and evaluation on gender and entrepreneurship
DG ENTR evaluation policy: promotion of women innovators and entrepreneurship
In 2008, DG Enterprise and Industry carried out an evaluation on its policy on the promotion of women innovators and entrepreneurship. This report presents the findings of the study. The aim of the evaluation was to assess the effectiveness, efficiency, utility and constraints on promotion activities across Member States as the basis for policy recommendations to support the contribution of women innovators and entrepreneurship to the Lisbon Agenda.
For a detailed description of how gender can be mainstreamed in this phase of the policy cycle, click here.