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Empirical research has largely demonstrated that a major component leading to independent employment choice is the level of education. Although some argue against it, most conclude that female business owners have a higher university degree than the overall population majority. As noted by the Gender-GEDI Executive Report “higher education not only provides high-potential female entrepreneurs with the skills needed to grow their businesses, but also broadens their networks, another critical factor for high-potential female entrepreneurship success (p.9; 2013). A second trend identified by the literature is centred on the need to balance personal life and work responsibilities, often arising after the first child is born. It must be noted that only 39% of professional women in 2005 chose to return to work full time after taking time off for family reasons. As a result, female entrepreneurs usually tend to possess fewer years of business experience than men and often none at all. Strict and bureaucratic corporate environments deeply contributed to push women towards an independent start-up, allowing both greater wealth and flexibility. Obstacles to success have been revealed by several theorists to often be non-economic factors such as culture and institutions. In the first case, social norms influence the general support that a particular culture provides to women choosing an entrepreneurial route. The number of gendered institutions (i.e. women entrepreneurs networks) therefore depends on the general population's willingness to accept and sustain the phenomenon. Feelings of guilt and tensions deriving from the public view on the traditional role of women in society may prevent female entrepreneurship expansion. In the second case, if institutions do not facilitate and allow basic business freedoms indispensable for starting, running and exiting a business, the ration of female entrepreneurs will certainly decrease.
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Last date updated on July, 2014

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