There are more women than men in the European Union, nevertheless, women make up only a third of its entrepreneurs, as different reasons take the charm out of running a business for women. With a view to encourage more women to take up entrepreneurship, the European Commission ordered a study in 2014 in order to gather available statistical data on women entrepreneurs in Europe. In addition to the 28 EU member states (EU-28), Albania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Iceland, Israel, Turkey, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Norway, and Serbia were analyzed, making the total number of countries surveyed 37.

The study reveals that in 2012, women entrepreneurs made up 29% of all entrepreneurs in Europe (11.6 m). During the period 2008-2012, the number of women entrepreneurs in the EU has increased 3%. Out of all European women entrepreneurs, 78% were solo entrepreneurs and only 22% employers, with women preferring to be more active in the sector groups of human health and social work activities, other services, and education when compared to men.

Women entrepreneurs in Estonia are characterized as follows (the data referring to the year 2012):

  • Out of all Estonian entrepreneurs, women made up 28%, with most of them (72%) being solo entrepreneurs. They constituted about 5% of the women in the active labour force in Estonia, which was significantly lower than the EU-28 average (10%)
  • About 74% of women entrepreneurs worked full-time in their enterprise and only 26% did it part-time, which was lower than the EU-28 average (30%)
  • Women entrepreneurs tend to be the most active in sectors related to trade, services (especially social and administrative ones), arts, education, and entertainment, but also scientific and technical activities. The least popular were construction, agriculture, forestry, and fishing
  • Contrary to the EU average, women entrepreneurs in Estonia tend to be slightly older than their men counterparts. In 2012, there were as many 25-49-year-old women entrepreneurs as there were men, but among 65-year-old or older, women were predominant
  • The average education level of Estonian women entrepreneurs beat not only Estonian men, but also that of the EU as a whole
  • The mean net income of women entrepreneurs (€8,688) was slightly higher than that of men entrepreneurs (€8,118) in Estonia, but still lower than that of women entrepreneurs in EU-28

See also

The report can be accessed here.