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EU needs more women entrepreneurs

Male and female shoes
Male and female shoes

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, say MEPs in a non-legislative resolution voted on Tuesday.

The resolution was approved by 532 votes to 100 with 80 abstentions.

About one-third of EU entrepreneurs are women. The 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.

"In 2016 we are still forced to detect a chronic lack of women in the business world. This is not acceptable. I ask the European Commission to carry out, through the instruments provided by the Treaties, every effort to change a negative trend that sees only 31 % of entrepreneurs in Europe are women", said rapporteur Barbara Matera (EPP, IT). "Women should be a driving force in the recovery of economy in Europe", she added.

The resolution calls on member states to:

  • support female labour market participation by implementing work-life balance policies
  • use EU funds to guarantee affordable quality care for children and older people,
  • facilitate and simplify access to finance (financial institutions should treat everybody in the same way),
  • create various European networks for female entrepreneurs,
  • share information and exchange of best practices, 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).