Humane Entrepreneurship

Humane Entrepreneurship

Humane Entrepreneurship and Small Businesses

Consumers are starting to recognize the value of being able to expend their resources while concurrently awakening to the troubles that small businesses globally face. As for businesses, many have also reflected on their values and practices, deciding where to make cuts and how to demonstrate employee value. At large, we have all been influenced by this global reset.


This re-establishment places many in the space of simultaneous suffering and structuring. This is where the principles of humane entrepreneurship can be applied in practice. Detailed in their original publication, humane enterprises share four categorizations for business, those being ideal, moderate, negative, and harmful. Working as types of standards for the business community, these qualify businesses not only in their transition towards just practices but also in their ability to apply these grades of practice as individuals and through cultural business diffusion.


Ideal Humane Entrepreneurship can be found in companies where their top management and administration embody the cultural values of empathy, equity, empowerment, and enablement for their employees. As the leadership guides appropriately and humanely, a culture of these values will help generate innovation, appropriate risk-taking, and decisive actions that produce activities creating quality job creation and company wealth, which helps continue the cycle of these qualities. Although these qualifiers need markers to measure these standards, companies might create evaluation and assessment phases to calculate their business’s standard of Humane Entrepreneurship. Additionally, national leaders can use these principles as they reconsider current policies surrounding enterprises, aiding in the need to bring a Culture of Ideal Humane Entrepreneurship to the forefront of both consumers’ and producers’ understanding of their role in entrepreneurship.


Moderate Humane Entrepreneurship can be portrayed in companies where leadership is committed to one aspect of generating a Culture of Humane Entrepreneurship. This will inevitably lead to an imbalance between managing the human and strategy within the organization. Resulting in varied outcomes for wealth and job creation, this cycle will, unfortunately, not continue the cycle of positive performance seen in the Ideal standard.

Regrettably, negative Humane Entrepreneurship is depicted in many companies worldwide, where the organization’s leadership forgets the importance of the “human” component to entrepreneurial orientation. This will thus create dissatisfaction among employees and disempower high-level performance, innovation, and risk-taking. This sterile ecosystem will cause depletion and discontinuation of wealth cycles. There remains the possibility for an organization of this Negative nature to recover the humane element of the business.


Lastly, Harmful Humane Entrepreneurship is seen in leaders who purposely and directly harm their employees and, thus, the capital. The Culture of Humane Entrepreneurship is not visible in this environment, leading to a decline in performance and wealth, which is often impossible to resolve and look forward to.


Humane Entrepreneurship necessitates that companies either transition immediately or begin their business plan based on a humane orientation to entrepreneurship, allowing leadership and staff to understand their value while working as a cohesive team. This company will demonstrate its belief that “respect for human dignity demands respect for human freedom,” thus leveraging its company to further the ideals of empathy and equity beyond the walls of its business to broadcast this Cultural value to and for the greater world.

Article by: Dr. Ayman ElTarabishy, President and CEO, ICSB

9th Georges Doriot Days – Entrepreneurship and Society

9th Georges Doriot Days – Entrepreneurship and Society

9th Georges Doriot Days - “Gender perspectives in entrepreneurship : Sharing views about societal challenges”

July 5-7, 2023 at UQAM’s School of Management campus in downtown Montreal


The Georges Doriot Days : Why?
Every two years, the Georges Doriot Days are an opportunity to put three strong principles into practice:
– Practical intelligence: entrepreneurship is a field where interweaving academic thinking and practices is necessary and fruitful.
– A transdisciplinary vocation: the Doriot days make it possible to approach entrepreneurial phenomena from various lenses: managerial, legal, psychological, historical, etc. In addition to management sciences, the Doriot Days are open to experts in economics, legal sciences, cognitive sciences and more broadly, in humanities and social sciences.
– The relationship between entrepreneurship and society: the Doriot days wish to put emphasis on entrepreneurship as an agent of social transformation, not reducing it to the mere creation of wealth.


(Read more here)

Digital Reality

Digital Reality

If you ask the average entrepreneur what lessons or skills they have learned and developed over the past year, one answer comes up again: ZOOM (a.k.a. flexibility.) There is no flexibility in the modern business world without a digital presence. The tools exist for small businesses to create an online, global platform that can work towards various societal needs with very few input resources. The future of education is digital, and tying your business’s investment in digital presence to skills training or other educational opportunities is a brilliant, cost-effective way of growing your footprint.


COVID-19 and the resulting changes to the day-to-day operations of millions of people worldwide have accelerated this shift toward digital infrastructure and technological competency.  At ICSB, we believe that this transition to a more global and digitally connected environment provides opportunities for all small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and sustainable entrepreneurs to increase their knowledge and to network through a collection of digital conferences.


We want to emphasize that while the potential value of digital conferences and the broader expansion of technological advancement, in-person meetings, and opportunities to meet and socialize remain the ideal for a robust exchange of information and perspectives. However, in a world that continually asks us to adapt, we must continue to be ready to do so.


One of the main attractions of a digital conference is location neutrality. Conferences can be hosted from wherever, and it becomes exponentially easier for distant parties to attend events that would ordinarily have been very difficult in regular times. This approach also centers on disabled actors and other parties that require a different set of accommodations. When we say we want to build a more equitable and just world, these are some of the more minor, more complicated things we must pay attention to.


Additionally, a digital conference’s environmental impact is a fraction of the average ecological costs of long-distance travel and other amenities of an in-person function. We must emphasize sustainability and consider expenses that we have historically ignored.


While this age of digital conferences and events is relatively new, there are ways to maximize your event’s effectiveness. As Lawton (2020) writes, some of the key considerations include:



  1. Timetabling of speakers should be optimized to account for the different time zones in which speakers and participants are located.
  2. Presenters should be taught how to use the software before the conference, including optimizing their environment, lighting, positioning, and digital broadcast clothing.
  3. Audience participation via asking questions and voting in polls is essential to keep the audience engaged and scrutinizing presented material.
  4. Technological failures are distracting and time-consuming. A dedicated team should be assigned to troubleshoot and make contingency plans when the issue cannot be resolved.
  5. Decide how recorded content will be made available and whether this will be restricted to registered participants or open to a broader audience.

The details will change according to the specifics of certain events. Still, we believe a foundation emphasizing preparedness, audience engagement, and technological competency is a definite beginning as we evolve our practices to meet the times’ challenges. Additionally, we believe incorporating these strategies will create a special and unique experience that does not merely look to replicate the features of a traditional, in-person event. Digital conferences and circumstances are individual and offer their pros and cons.

We believe we must lean into these challenges if we want to continue to succeed.


Article by:  Dr. Ayman ElTarabishy, President and CEO, ICSB


The Future of Entrepreneurship Education

The Future of Entrepreneurship Education

Entrepreneurship Education sits as the cornerstone of creating socially and environmentally conscious entrepreneurs. When we imagine the future of humane entrepreneurship, it includes empowered employees and well-educated entrepreneurs making intelligent decisions to heal the environment and benefit the world. To enable entrepreneurs to make these changes we envision, we must educate them on the issues that truly matter, such as integrating social entrepreneurship with sustainable entrepreneurship and employing business practices that protect our planet, communities, and future generations.



First, we must consider the significance of climate change and the role that government officials and entrepreneurs play in preventing further damage to the planet. Although governments are making changes to reduce negative environmental impacts, we are still concerned about whether profitability and sustainability coexist. We must educate all stakeholders about climate risk and their duty to promote sustainability in response to this. As observed by Dr. Mariya Yesseleva-Pionka, Global Certificates Manager for ICSB and adjunct professor at the University of Technology Sydney, “With every new business venture comes a great responsibility for making climate-friendly decisions.” Therefore, we must continue developing and supporting eco-friendly solutions such as green start-ups, fin-techs, and sustainability reporting and educate entrepreneurs on properly implementing SDGs and sustainable business practices. It is imperative to note that long-term profits will not matter if the planet deteriorates due to climate change.



This sustainability education is inherently tied to education about social entrepreneurship, as both of these entrepreneurial approaches target issues on a human and environmental level. Although there exists an increasing amount of research on social entrepreneurial intention (SEI), or the motivation of entrepreneurs to build new social enterprises, we still lack knowledge about different SEI antecedents, such as personality, cognition, and experience, as well as variables moderating antecedent-SEI relationships, including economic and social influences. According to Dr. Phillipp Kruse, a scientific staff member at the Dresden University of Technology, the solution to these research issues lies in examining SEI in countries with different cultures and economic situations and developing a validated instrument with which to measure SEI. Additionally, social entrepreneurship educators must include more psychological input in university courses to strengthen participants’ motivational ties to social entrepreneurship.



With entrepreneurial learners’ power to change the future of business and the environment, we owe them the best education, educators, research, and settings. We must listen inclusively to these learners’ and new and small businesses’ voices. Dr. Norris Krueger, the Senior Research Fellow at the College of Doctoral Studies, UOPX & Entrepreneurship Northwest, stated, “Students are our secret weapon. In terms of learning and educating, especially in the ecosystem.” To provide entrepreneurial learners with the best resources, we must shift from top-down systems to bottom-up, from institutions to people, and from hierarchies to networks. Inclusivity and active listening are the keys to discovering what our entrepreneurial students need to flourish, improve their communities, and shape the future of humane entrepreneurship. In educating entrepreneurs and stakeholders on their sustainable responsibilities, increasing students’ ties to social entrepreneurship at the university level, and providing high-quality, comprehensive education, we grant entrepreneurs the tools necessary to implement safer business practices and create long-term, positive change for our environment, communities, and ways of life.


Article by:  Dr. Ayman ElTarabishy, President and CEO, ICSB


SMEs Must Choose Change

SMEs Must Choose Change

SMEs Must Choose Change 

Dr. Sheena S. Iyengar, a scholar at Columbia University, has conducted significant research on change management, choice, and decision theory. One experiment she describes is based on data collected at a supermarket: counting how many customers who sampled many different types of jam ended up buying the jam. The final purchase was verified using the discount coupons at the cash register.



Interestingly, she found that the higher the number of jam options the customers had tasted, the less likely they were to act on that purchase. She called this phenomenon “the paradox of choice.” Too many choices, too many options, hence analysis paralysis and unintended consequences (quite the opposite of what the store was trying to achieve by providing more shelving space to the marmalade section). She identified that the bigger the number of options and combinations, the higher the costs of acquiring and sorting information and the more complex the decision. Computer scientists try to simplify this complexity by
using an algorithm called “merge sort,” which brings similar, not the same, groups together and speeds up problem-solving. Gestalt theory predicates similar clustering and simplification approaches. Reductionism, which strives to simplify complex problems into small manageable pieces, does the same.



Why does something so positive – such as having access to a larger number of delicious and tasty breakfast options – turn out to be a paradox leading to fewer purchases? David Rock and Jeffrey Schwartz use neuroscience to explain it simply: change is painful.
Decisions leading to change are processed in our working memory and activate the energy-intensive part of the brain, depleting such energy. Routine and familiar activities are stored in the basal ganglia and form habits that require less energy to activate since they have already been stored in our brains thanks to training and repetition. David Rock and Jeffrey Schwartz explain, “When you see a new product on a supermarket shelf and rationally compare its benefits to a product you already use, your working memory takes in the new information and matches it against the old. This kind of memory activates the prefrontal cortex, an
energy-intensive part of the brain.”



This lengthy introduction enables me to discuss some concepts: paradoxes, change, and the difficulty of change. Change is indeed painful. Try to read any management theory book or journal article on the subject, and you will find a recipe for to-do lists that
are meant to help people and organizations adapt to changes. But change is also necessary. We live it constantly around us: biologically, we are under continuous pressures and stresses as our bodies (and mind) change and adapt to the passing of time. Nature changes continuously, albeit in times that span millennia, while human nature, and even personalities, change several times throughout an individual’s lifetime. And with that change comes something inevitable: the difficulty of adapting or embracing it. The fear of the unknown kicks in, easily explained by its opposite: the comforting certainty of the known. We know how it works now; the last time this was done, it failed; why should it work now?


Embracing agility is essential for SMEs business owners who need to create a dynamic culture in their organizations in order to thrive. Small business leaders should refrain from the status quo and embrace change to adapt to changing circumstances. During the pandemic, many small businesses, especially in the direct services industry, had to rethink their business operations to survive. In New York City, restaurants started delivering wine. They opened outside spaces on the streets, completely transforming the eating experience from an inside to an outside affair that seems to be here to stay post-COVID, even with a modified look.



The traditional tenets of how we conduct business have changed, moving people outside of their offices into their home offices, thus opening new opportunities to connect to local businesses and communities in radically distributed work environments. Those small businesses that can ride this wave of local and community innovation and adapt
swiftly will have new opportunities to reach new clients where they are. Choosing to lead this change will open new horizons. It is time to choose change, whether taxing, painful or uncomfortable. It is time to decide to change because of the unknown opportunities that it brings.


1 Iyengar, Sheena S., and Mark R. Lepper. “When choice is demotivating: Can one desire too much of a good thing?.” Journal of personality and social psychology 79.6 (2000): 995.
2 Rock, David, and Jeffrey Schwartz. “Breakthroughs in brain research explain how to make organizational transformation succeed.” Neuroleadership Journal 1 (2008): 2-10.
3 Rock, D., and J. Schwartz. “The Neuroscience of leadership: breakthroughs in brain research how to make organizational transformation succeed. Strategy and Business, 43.
Retrieved from www.strategy-business. com/article/06207 (2006).
4 Diaz, Alicia, and Kate Krader. “Inside the Fight Over the Future of New York City’s Outdoor Dining.” Bloomberg.Com, 23 Mar. 2022.,

Article by:  Katia Passerini, Ph.D. Provost and Executive Vice President. Seton Hall University


Women’s Entrepreneurship Policy

Women’s Entrepreneurship Policy

Women Entrepreneurship Policy

The gender gap in entrepreneurship has been closing slowly. Between 2000 and 2019, the gender gap in entrepreneurship, as measured by self-employment, shrank in 25 out of 31 OECD countries where data were available. While this is an important achievement, it must also be acknowledged that this is due partly to a decline in the share of men who were self-employed. However, progress has been slower in closing other gender gaps associated with entrepreneurship. For example, the gap between the share of men and women entrepreneurs who employ others has grown only slightly since 2000. In addition, specific gaps remain in entrepreneurship skills and access to finance. The gender gap in entrepreneurship represents a missed opportunity for innovation, social and economic value creation and job creation (OECD/EU, 2021). Policy makers could have an important role to play in closing this gap through targeted entrepreneurship policies.



In 2021, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in collaboration with the Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Policy Research Network (Global WEP) published a report that explored entrepreneurship policies with a gender lens. The report included policy insight notes from 27 countries within the Global WEP network, illustrating a wide range of policy approaches, challenges and contexts. A number of lessons for policy makers can be drawn from these insight notes:


  • To close gender gaps in entrepreneurship, greater efforts are needed by governments to address underpinning biases in society and the labour market. Gender roles can have a strong and often negative influence on women’s entrepreneurship.
  • Strong framework conditions for entrepreneurship are a prerequisite for women’s entrepreneurship policy.
  • Women’s entrepreneurship policies need strong commitment and investment. Even when there is a solid policy framework for women’s entrepreneurship, a strong delivery system is needed.
  • Policy makers must make more of an effort to contextualise policies and programmes and acknowledge the diversity of women entrepreneurs; “one size does not fit all.”
  • Gender-neutral and women-focused entrepreneurship education must be offered early to instil confidence, skills and abilities in young girls to identify entrepreneurial opportunities. Such education is important across all post-secondary disciplines, but particularly in disciplines dominated by women, such as the Humanities.
  • There is increasing recognition that women entrepreneurs face greater challenges than their male counterparts in accessing financial capital (Coleman et al., 2019). While a growing and diverse array of funding sources are being made available to women entrepreneurs, many of these gender-neutral initiatives do not adequately account for gender differences in founder motivations, circumstances or contexts.
  • More needs to be done to ensure that entrepreneurship ecosystems reflect the needs of diverse women entrepreneurs. This includes increasing funding for organisations and initiatives that foster inclusive entrepreneurship cultures, address gender barriers within mainstream interventions and offer direct support.
  • Strong regulatory institutions are needed to promote and support women’s entrepreneurship, particularly in areas such as parental leave and care responsibilities, where employees often have more access to supports than small business owners.


The report also highlighted a number of other important issues relating to the gender gap in entrepreneurship, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the influence of traditional gender roles, the characteristics of current entrepreneurship policies designed to support women entrepreneurs and, going forward, the need for women’s entrepreneurship policy frameworks to underpin individual policy actions and be contextualised.


The gender gap is reducing but still exists:


Women have traditionally been less active in entrepreneurship than men. Between 2015 and 2019, fewer than 6% of women in the OECD were actively involved in creating a business relative to more than 8% of men. The gap is explained by a range of factors, including differences in individual motivations and intentions for entrepreneurship, levels of entrepreneurship skills, access to finance, networks and social attitudes towards women and men entrepreneurs. Many of these barriers are inter-dependent. For example, low levels of entrepreneurship skills hinder an entrepreneur from exploring all possible options for accessing financing.


Women entrepreneurs tend to operate different types of businesses than men. On average, women entrepreneurs are more likely to operate businesses in service sectors and on a part-time basis, are less likely to have employees, export, have growth intentions and introduce new products and services (OECD/EU, 2019). It is important to recognise that many of these characteristics are inter-related.


Gender gaps in self-employment reduced between 2000 and 2019 in 25 of 31 OECD countries. The gender gap in self-employment reduced by as much as approximately 5 percentage points in five countries (Iceland, Ireland, New Zealand, Hungary and Greece), and reduced by smaller amounts in 20 countries. However, the gaps between women and men increased in six countries (Estonia, Slovak Republic, Portugal, Poland, the Netherlands and Austria). Furthermore, the gap between the proportion of self-employed women and men with employees grew between 2000 and 2019 in approximately two-thirds of the OECD countries.


COVID-19 risks reversing gains in women’s entrepreneurship


The COVID-19 pandemic may exacerbate gender gaps in entrepreneurship. Women entrepreneurs have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Women entrepreneurs are more likely to operate businesses in hard-hit sectors (e.g. personal services, tourism, retail, arts and entertainment), be less financially resilient and have less finance knowledge and confidence. Moreover, women bear a disproportionate share of caregiving responsibilities in households, which restricts the time available for their businesses, and renders them less equipped to pivot business activities in response to the crisis (e.g. less access to external advice, less likely to be online).


The large-scale COVID-19 liquidity support measures that governments introduced were implemented quickly but were not always gender-sensitive. Governments had to act quickly to support small businesses and the self-employed with liquidity support tools (e.g. loans and wage subsidies). However, these were generally simple undifferentiated tools that followed a one-size fits all approach. Such support may not have filtered equally to all small businesses. Women-owned enterprises may not have benefited as much as men-owned businesses because, on average, they are less likely to use bank loans (many programmes rely on existing bank products) or are smaller (some supports have revenue or employment thresholds). Differences in financial literacy also played a role.


Traditional gender roles exert negative influences on women’s entrepreneurship


Gender roles in society can have negative influences on the scale and nature of women’s entrepreneurship. In many OECD countries, tax and family policies continue to reinforce traditional gender roles. Income tax models that favour single income earners in households can dissuade women from participating in entrepreneurship. In addition, while family policy is evolving to provide greater support for women’s participation in the labour market, a bias towards employment over entrepreneurship remains. This can be illustrated by parental leave and childcare policies, which can negatively influence the feasibility of entrepreneurship for many women.


Greater efforts are needed to legitimize, celebrate and normalize women’s entrepreneurship. The 27 policy insight notes on which this paper draws confirm that women entrepreneurs often retain lower status then men entrepreneurs, even within OECD countries with high perceived levels of gender equality. This is demonstrated by women’s entrepreneurship supports that are underpinned by volunteerism, making supports vulnerable to fatigue and high levels of turnover among time-stretched unpaid workers. Governments need to do more to promote women’s entrepreneurship, such as promoting diverse role models, recognizing leaders through award programmes and funding women-focused support services.


Characteristics of current women’s entrepreneurship policies


Women’s entrepreneurship policies have been in place in some countries for decades. The rationale behind targeted policies and programmes to promote and support women’s entrepreneurship is typically built on three arguments:

Women are under-represented in entrepreneurship compared with men. Closing the gender gap yields welfare gains for individual women and society as a whole.

There is evidence that women are held back in entrepreneurship by institutional and market barriers, such as social attitudes that discourage them from creating businesses, and market failures that make it more difficult to access resources like skills training, finance and networks.
Evaluations suggest that women are less aware of public enterprise support programmes, and that mechanisms used to select programme participants can favour men (OECD, 2017).


Going Forward: Women’s entrepreneurship policy frameworks are needed to underpin individual policy actions


Women’s entrepreneurship policy is a “work in progress” rather than a finished product. In some countries, overall public policies and specific women’s entrepreneurship support programmes are working together to achieve desired entrepreneurship goals. In other instances, there is a lack of an effective overarching women’s entrepreneurship policy or the presence of policies and programmes that are not consistent. The good news is that all 27 countries highlighted in the collaborative OECD-Global WEP report are engaged in women’s entrepreneurship policy support, with an impressive array of programmes and initiatives. A caveat, however, is that projects and funding are often vulnerable to economic and political changes without underpinning policy frameworks. This threat lends support to the importance of women’s entrepreneurship policy as a means for informing, grounding and sustaining different types of women’s entrepreneurship programmes. Conversely, programmes that are not linked to policy may represent areas of opportunity and serve as a signpost for under-valued areas of policy.


Women’s entrepreneurship interventions must be contextualised. Context in the form of institutions, culture and social norms has important effects on the existence or non-existence of women’s entrepreneurship policies, as well as on the priorities stressed in such policies. As an example, policies in some developed economies, such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, tend to focus on expanding the entrepreneurial ecosystem in ways that will benefit women entrepreneurs. In contrast, developing or in-transition economies tend to focus on foundational challenges to gender equity, social justice, economic security and empowerment. Similarly, women-focused programmes reflect the institutional, cultural and normative characteristics of the respective countries. Such influences are reflected in what gets done to support women entrepreneurs, and who does the work. In some instances, for example, the role of government is to create the legal and regulatory framework that supports women’s entrepreneurship, while providing resources. In other country contexts, government plays a more directive role in creating infrastructure, funding and establishing small business support networks. Both approaches can work, but are different and reflect corresponding differences in the country-level entrepreneurial contexts.



More effective implementation of policies is needed to achieve policy objectives. Policy makers should develop a means for “closing the loop” to ensure that desired outcomes for women’s entrepreneurship policies are clearly articulated and measured on an ongoing basis. Few countries have established systematic methods for monitoring the impacts of women’s entrepreneurship policy against policy objectives, and for identifying progress relative to targets and the effectiveness of different measures. As an example, a common intervention to support women entrepreneurs is women-focused entrepreneurship training and skills development programmes. To date, there is limited objective evidence within or across countries demonstrating the impacts of such programmes in increasing women entrepreneurs’ access to resources and enhancing the viability of their firms. This reflects a lost opportunity to learn from high impact policy interventions and to demonstrate benefits. Lack of evidence may lead to the vulnerability of programme funding.



Greater efforts are needed to address gender gaps in entrepreneurship skills. There are benefits to offering dedicated entrepreneurship training for women. Benefits include increasing the involvement of women in business creation, augmenting the quality of start-ups founded by women, and enhancing the relevance and attractiveness of support for women entrepreneurs. While many countries are implementing dedicated entrepreneurship training programmes for women, approaches are often poorly designed and not well-connected to other small business supports. Moreover, there are many examples of duplication among offers, which can create confusion among the targeted entrepreneurs. Governments need to improve dedicated training, coaching and mentoring schemes by contextualising the offers (e.g. for local conditions, different profiles of women entrepreneurs, different sectors of start-up projects) and bundling supports into cohesive systems that provide a range of inter-connected and reinforcing schemes.



The development of dedicated training programmes is not sufficient to close the gender gap in entrepreneurship skills. Gender-neutral entrepreneurship education needs to be further developed and implemented early in the mainstream education system so that young girls understand that entrepreneurship is a viable career option. Such programming can instil confidence, skills and abilities to identify and exploit entrepreneurial opportunities. Entrepreneurship education is important across all academic disciplines, but particularly in disciplines dominated by women, such as the Humanities.


Greater use of dedicated measures is needed to address gender gaps in access to financing.


There is a commitment by most governments to increase women entrepreneurs’ access to financing. While a range of mechanisms are in place, a broader use of instruments, such as loan guarantee schemes and microfinance, is needed. This includes increased access to capital for growth-oriented small businesses. Regardless of the type of instrument used, the 27 policy insight notes provided by the Global WEP network showed that mainstream financing sources and government’s use of small business finance schemes are not always as effective for women as they are for men. A greater use of women-focused small business financing programmes is needed. This is because, women have been found to launch their firms with smaller amounts of financial capital than men, and are more reliant on internal sources of financing (Henry et al., 2017).


Coleman, S., C. Henry, B. Orser, L. Foss and F. Welter (2019), “Policy Support for Women Entrepreneurs’ Access to Financial Capital: Evidence from Canada, Germany, Ireland, Norway, and the United States”, Journal of Small Business Management, Vol. 57, No. 2, pp. 296-322.

Henry, C., B. Orser, S. Coleman and L. Foss (2017), “Women’s entrepreneurship policy: a 13 nation cross-country comparison”, International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 9, No. 3, pp. 206-228.

OECD (2017), The Pursuit of Gender Equality: An Uphill Battle, OECD Publishing, Paris,
OECD/EU (2019), The Missing Entrepreneurs 2019: Policies for Inclusive Entrepreneurship, OECD Publishing, Paris,

OECD/EC (2021), The Missing Entrepreneurs 2021: Policies for Inclusive Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment, OECD Publishing, Paris,

OECD-GWEP (2021). Entrepreneurship Policies Through A Gender Lens. Retrieved on 25th April 2022 at:


The Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Policy Research Project (Global WEP – is a network of established researchers from over 30 countries. Established in 2014 by Colette Henry, its goal is to examine, internationally, support policies for women’s entrepreneurship, and to identify explicit or implicit gender biases within public policies. Global WEP also seeks to identify evidence-based good policies or practices that are potentially beneficial to other countries in supporting women’s entrepreneurial activities.

The policy insight notes were authored by the following members of the Global WEP network: Australia: Patrice Braun (Federation University Australia), Naomi Birdthistle (Griffith University) and Antoinette Flynn (University of Limerick); Canada: Barbara Orser (University of Ottawa); Czech Republic: Alena Křížková Pospíšilová (Institute of Sociology, Czech Academy of Sciences) and Marie Pospíšilová (Institute of Sociology, Czech Academy of Sciences); Denmark: Helle Neergaard (Aarhus University); Ethiopia: Atsede Tesfaye (Addis Ababa University); Germany: Friederike Welter (University Siegen and IfM Bonn); India: Roshni Narendran (University of Tasmania); Iran: Nastaran Simarasl (California State Polytechnic University – Pomona) and Vahid Makizadeh (University of Hormozgan); Ireland: Colette Henry (Dundalk Institute of Technology and Griffith University, Australia); Italy: Sara Poggesi (University of Rome Tor Vergata), Michela Mari (University of Rome Tor Vergata) and Luisa De Vita (Sapienza University of Rome); Kenya: Anne W. Kamau (University of Nairobi) and Winnie V. Mitullah (University of Nairobi); Mexico: Rosa Nelly Trevinyo-Rodriguez (Trevinyo-Rodriguez & Asociados); New Zealand: Anne de Bruin (Massey University) and Kate V. Lewis (Newcastle University); Northern Ireland, UK: Joan Ballantine (Ulster University) and Pauric McGowan (Ulster University); Norway: Lene Foss (UiT – The Arctic University of Norway and Jönköping University, Sweden); Pakistan: Shumaila Yousafzai (Cardiff University) and Shandana Sheikh (Cardiff University); Palestinian Authority: Grace Khoury (Birzeit University); Poland: Ewa Lisowska (Warsaw School of Economics); Scotland, UK: Anne F. Meikle; South Africa: Bridget Irene (Coventry University); Spain: Maria Cristina Diaz Garcia (University of Castilla-La Mancha); Sri Lanka: Nadeera Ranabahu (University of Canterbury); Sweden: Helene Ahl (Jönköping University); Tanzania: Dina Modestus Nziku (University of the West of Scotland) and Cynthia Forson (Lancaster University Ghana); Turkey: Duygu Uygur (Istanbul Bilgi University) and Elif Bezal Kahraman; United Kingdom: Helen Lawton Smith (Birkbeck, University of London) and Tim Vorley (Oxford Brookes University); and United States: Susan Coleman (University of Hartford).

Article by:  Colette Henry, Barbara Orser & Susan Coleman (Global WEP) Jonathan Potter & David Halabisky (OECD)