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No gender gap in entrepreneurial activity in Jamaica – Report

Published:Friday | April 21, 2023 | 12:13 AMAvia Collinder - Business Reporter

THE 2021-2022 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, GEM, report indicates that the gender distribution of Jamaica’s total early-stage entrepreneurial activity, TEA, are majority female, although, when compared to new businesses, the more established businesses are in the hands of men.

Done in association with the University of Technology, UTech, through its College of Business and Management, the survey shows that the majority of both nascent entrepreneurs, 52 per cent, and established businesses operators, 54.9 per cent, are women.

The finding is similar to that of the 2016-17 report which was done in Jamaica, and states that females in the Caribbean are more likely to start businesses, with the main reason for doing so being ‘out of necessity’.

The finding about the dominance of women in entrepreneurship, researchers observed, is not consistent with the 2020-21 global distribution of other economies with respect to both nascent entrepreneurs and established businesses.

Globally, new businesses are still more likely to be started by men.

The GEM report also points out: “Women entrepreneurs have been on the increase worldwide and have been playing an essential role in global and local economic development.”

It added: “Having more women involved in entrepreneurial activities has been leading to more economic freedom, gender equality, women empowerment and social inclusion.”

The writers said: “Females tend to innovate, initiate, engage, and operate business enterprises so as to contribute to domestic development and household incomes, particularly during the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic and especially in rural areas.”

Overall, in Jamaica the majority of TEA entrepreneurs are female, at59 per cent.

The writers commented: “This indicates that there is no gender gap (ratio of total female to male entrepreneurs) in entrepreneurial activities in Jamaica, a finding which bears some similarity to the Dominican Republic and Morocco, two other Level C economies.”

Age segmentation

Overall, in the current survey, the data indicates that the 25- to 34-year age range is the most active in entrepreneurial activities, followed by the 18- to 24year-old age range. In total, the majority of the TEA, 59 per cent, are within the 18-34 age range.

Overall, it was noted: “Younger people tend to have more energy. They are more familiar with business-accelerating technology, as well as new and emerging markets.”

The report states that younger people are also more prepared to take risks, as they have more time to overcome business failure.

The writers stated: “Although older people have more knowledge and experience, and better access to capital and other resources, they may not want to venture into entrepreneurial activities because of the potential risks involved.”

GEM, in the new survey, said that Jamaica has the highest percentage, 32 per cent, of entrepreneurs in the 25-34 age group when compared to the global, 17.8 per cent, and low-income countries, 19.3 per cent.

The 2021-22 GEM report is produced by a consortium of national country teams which conduct survey-based research on entrepreneurship and its entrepreneurship ecosystems around the world.