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, https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264281318-en.
OECD/EU (2019), The Missing Entrepreneurs 2019: Policies for Inclusive Entrepreneurship, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/3ed84801-en.

OECD/EC (2021), The Missing Entrepreneurs 2021: Policies for Inclusive Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/71b7a9bb-en.

OECD-GWEP (2021). Entrepreneurship Policies Through A Gender Lens. Retrieved on 25th April 2022 at: https://www.oecd.org/industry/entrepreneurship-policies-through-the-gender-lens-71c8f9c9-en.htm


The Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Policy Research Project (Global WEP – www.globalwep.org) 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)




The Kitchen of the Future –  Social Innovation

Friday,  October 7, 2022, by Drs. Ayman ElTarabishy and Tony Mendes


DC Central Kitchen (DCCK) is a social enterprise that uses food, “job training, healthy food distribution, and local farm partnerships” as a solution for those suffering from poverty and addiction in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. Most of DCCK’s employees comprised returning citizens and people recovering from addiction and/or homelessness. Turning to innovative ways of increasing revenue through earned income initiatives and creative solutions to secure resources, social enterprise has paved the way for DCCK’s growth over the past decade.


In 2004, DCCK generated USD 600 thousand in revenue from USD 6 million in total budgeting operations carried out by 48 people. In 2012, 140 employees generated roughly USD 6 million in revenue from USD 13 million in total budgeting operations, with much of that revenue stemming from the culinary training and school meals programs. DCCK not only earned a surplus from these programs; more importantly, it demonstrated that inventive thinking, dedication, and a belief in people, could buck conventional wisdom and bring stability and hope to people who were typically thought of as being locked in cycles of destructive behavior or circumstances.


This case invites students to draw conclusions surrounding this particular style of social enterprise to encourage discussion about an entrepreneurial orientation, market opportunities, and strategy.


Read the Case Study (Click Here)

Article by:  Drs. Ayman ElTarabishy and Tony Mendes


How do Family Businesses Improve Post Pandemic

How do Family Businesses Improve Post Pandemic

Defining, Measuring, and Rewarding Scholarly Impact: Mind the Level of Analysis

Friday, September 30, 2022, by Enrique Pablo O. Caeg, Founding President of ICSB Philippines and  Founder of the Knowledge Hub retail Academy in the Philippines


My career as an employee took many turns, from doing Marketing related jobs like advertising & promotions, product management, account management. Most of these jobs were spent with Corporate entities that were structured, complemented with systems and procedures that made my role less difficult to function with.


When I worked as an Account Supervisor for Nike Footwear, I had a great experience for five years, achieving the monthly sales quota that blessed me with a financial windfall.


While everything was happening beautifully, I realized one thing: “That it was not about me”. I had good sales achievements not because I was a great salesman, but it was because of my Sales Team assigned to the different stores under me. Weekly, I met with them in the cafeteria and discussed action plans for the week. This motivational method of “making your team feel valued and appreciated” worked well for me. I did not resort to any hard-pressure approach. Everybody was happy even though we all got tired especially during mall-wide sale events. This experience gave birth to my own employee motto in Tagalog: “Hindi na bale kung pagod, huwag lang masama ang loob” (it does not matter that I’m tired, as long as I’m happy with what I’m doing).


As I moved on to different companies, I found myself working for Family Owned & Controlled Corporations (FOCCs). A new set of experiences for me. Mostly, decisions and management were focused on the founder. Professional Employees had a more difficult time blending and working in the most family-based environment because there were departments that had incomplete resources. The “Make your dreams come true” wish of most employees will have to wait due to the lack of a merit system, an unbalanced approach to discipline, and a rewards system. So how can employees of Family Owned Companies achieve their life goals?


Family Businesses should consider:

  • Redefine the way the following words are used: Trust, Loyalty, and Competency
  • Find time to: Organize, Systematize, and Manualized processes and systems
  • Create a roadmap for professional succession
  • Balanced application of the reward and punishment policies
  • Support continuing professional education of employees


It is understandable that not all of the items listed above will transform and be implemented, owner centered mindset will always rely on its decision on return on investment.


Doing my advisory for almost six years now. The success of my engagements was predicated on the involvement and transformation of the Family members who worked in the Companies as well. Ninety percent (90%) of my clients are from various industries (manufacturing, distribution, technology solutions, innovative products like gadgets and computers, athletic wear, shipping, and retail & e-commerce. 


They have different sizes and business volumes/revenues but their concerns were similar: high attrition, low morale, undisciplined personnel, weak sense of values and accountabilities, low productivity, and less efficiency.

In one organization, a manufacturing firm, the Family head once answered, when asked how stressed he was from 0 to 10, he answered 12. It was four years later that same question was invited to the person and he replied that now it’s down to 2. It was fulfilling to hear directly from him, to add, he showed me his contribution article that was being launched that afternoon, all that we did in 4 years of engagement. Narrated all the experiences and outcomes. It was a long, culture transformation, managed well overtime resulted in a 33% increase in productivity, employees became highly charged and made weekly projects, something to improve upon, even by just painting the faded gate premises.

This company did not have a structure, it was flat as designed, this gave the opportunity for the creation of the Leadership Circle, line leaders in the manufacturing area who are in charge of monitoring their daily performance scorecards. The Leadership Circle was a trial and error, having to change the whole team twice, including the most senior employee. The third team was born, and with the lessons from the first batches, this batch lasted until the pandemic came in 2020.

What did the Owner do? He began the transformation from himself, and his working family members, the new policies created were considerate of the employees with a great deal of balance between reprimand and rewards, increase relationships, and better communication style.

With the Pandemic hitting most Family businesses (Micro to Large), Family Businesses must continue to transform themselves starting with the primary origin, the Founders themselves.

Being an Organization Development Consultant for Family Businesses is not easy, but it definitely has a lot of lessons to live and share with others.

Article by:  Enrique Pablo O. Caeg, Founding President of ICSB Philippines and  Founder of the Knowledge Hub retail Academy in the Philippines



Defining, Measuring, and Rewarding Scholarly Impact: Mind the Level of Analysis

Defining, Measuring, and Rewarding Scholarly Impact: Mind the Level of Analysis

Defining, Measuring, and Rewarding Scholarly Impact: Mind the Level of Analysis

Friday, September 30, 2022, by Ravi S. Ramani, Herman Aguinis and Jacqueline A-M. Coyle-Shapiro

We address the grossly incorrect inferences that result from using journal impact factor (JIF) as a proxy to assess individual researcher and article scholarly impact. This invalid practice occurs because of confusion about the definition and measurement of impact at different levels of analysis. Specifically, JIF is a journal-level measure of impact, computed by aggregating citations of individual articles (i.e., upward effect), and is therefore inappropriate when measuring impact at lower levels of analysis, such as that of individual researchers, or of individual articles published in a particular journal (i.e., downward effect). We illustrate the severity of the errors that occur when using JIF to evaluate individual scholarly impact, and advocate for an immediate moratorium on the exclusive use of JIF and other journal-level (i.e., higher level of analysis) measures when assessing the impact of individual researchers and individual articles (i.e., lower level of analysis). Given the importance and interest in assessing the scholarly impact of researchers and articles, we delineate level-appropriate and readily available measures. We discuss implications for the careers of researchers and educators, the administration and future of business schools, and provide recommendations regarding the assessment of scholarly impact.


Clearly, the evaluation of individual articles and individual researchers based on JIF is far from a mere labeling exercise. For researchers, evaluating their impact based on JIF and JIF-influenced metrics affects critical career outcomes including securing a tenure-track job, enjoying a teaching reduction to devote more time to research, obtaining additional funding (e.g., summer support, research accounts, cash bonuses), receiving a positive or negative P&T review decision, and attaining a chaired position (Abritis, McCook, & Watch, 2017Edwards & Roy, 2017). For business schools, using JIF and JIF-influenced metrics to classify articles published by their faculty influences important outcomes such as business school rankings, fundraising, media attention, faculty recruitment efforts, and student enrollment (Aguinis, Cummings, Ramani, & Cummings, 2020Morgeson & Nahrgang, 2008Ryazanova, McNamara, & Aguinis, 2017).


Our article therefore is about JIF, and the grossly incorrect inferential leap that occurs when JIF is used to assess the impact of individual articles published in that journal, and the impact of the individual researchers who have published articles in that journal. This mistaken practice is due to confusion about the definition and measurement of impact at different levels of analysis. Specifically, JIF is a journal-level measure of impact computed by aggregating citations of individual articles (i.e., upward effect), and is therefore not appropriate for measuring impact at lower levels of analysis, such as that of individual researchers and of individual articles published in a particular journal (i.e., downward effect). Accordingly, we advocate for an immediate moratorium on the exclusive use of JIF and other journal-level (i.e., higher level of analysis) measures to assess the impact of individual researchers and individual articles (i.e., lower level of analysis). Furthermore, we propose that this moratorium apply to other journal-level measures also incorrectly used to assess the impact of individual researchers and individual articles, such as: (a) Scimago Journal Rank (SJR; based on Scopus data, it counts citations in a given year to publications in the previous three-year publication window, weighing citations such that they are assigned a greater or lesser value based on the SJR of the journal giving the citation); (b) Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP; based on Scopus data, it measures contextual citation impact by weighing citations based on the total number of citations in a subject field); (c) Article Influence Score (AIS; based on WoS data, it measures the average number of citations received by a journal’s articles in the first five years after publication, and weighs citation by the quality of the journal providing the citation, normalized as a fraction of all articles in all publications); and (d) the newly released Journal Citation Indicator (JCI; based on WoS data, it is a field-normalized metric representing the average category-normalized citation impact for papers published in the prior three-year period).


Click to read the full article


Article by: by Ravi S. Ramani, Herman Aguinis and Jacqueline A-M. Coyle-Shapiro



Women 2030 Sustainable Career Development

Women 2030 Sustainable Career Development

Women2030: Sustainable Career Development

Thursday, September 29, 2022, by Analia Pastran, Member in the Steering Committee of WUC-UN-Habitat and CEO of Smarlty and Evangelina Colli, Director of Localizing the SDGs of Smartly, Social Entrepreneurship on the SDGs

When you are a woman, it becomes complex to define the professional development you would like to achieve since, in some way, the family, traditions, and customs prepare us mainly for family assistance tasks. In these times, we are experiencing a global paradigm shift in which the proposal that is promoted is to abandon that role for another, which puts the core of beliefs in tension.


In this context, being able to see yourself as an economically independent professional woman who can express her own thoughts but at the same time strengthen the foundations of society by thinking in community, it requires an effort that you must be willing to make, but also of a boldness that is achieved through alliances.


From the observation and experience of the Urban Thinkers Campus (UTCs)  in Mexico and Ecuador carried out since 2019 to date, we can point out that when innovating and advancing in issues that concern humanity, such as life in cities, women have been the most tenacious allies. Women face challenges that are replicated regardless of the region, country, culture or belief, and whose solutions are global given that local problems are global.


The Urban Thinkers Campus (UTC) model is an initiative of the UN-Habitat World Urban Campaign, conceived as an open space that includes a series of plenary sessions with debates at the level of international experts, to bring together governments, civil society, researchers, and personalities from academia, local authorities, professional organizations, and youth groups, to propose solutions to urban challenges and achieve green, productive and more inclusive cities.


From this logical framework, we can analyze the natural and effective possibilities that women have to access knowledge and power, apply technology to personal and community development, and generate alliances during and after these urban thought encounters.


On the other hand, we observe that the generation and escalation of alliances represent a significant challenge to be addressed since there is a vocation and intention to carry them out, but the routines of the organizations and personal objectives make them difficult and harsh to specify and to hold.


Women 2030, a Smartly initiative, proposes a scheme of alliances between women to achieve sustainable career development. During the campuses, we emphasize the importance of Women Promoting Women, aware that the model of women that we propose is resisted by society and by the women who are already in decision-making positions.


The analysis postulated so far will be under the scrutiny of the social, economic, and environmental model that the region’s political systems propose for our democracies.


In this sense, Smartly promotes Parliament SDGs, a unique initiative dedicated to bringing an International Agenda to the legislative level of cities, where usually a Global Agenda hardly reaches.



Smartly unites different topics: urban legislation, women, sustainable entrepreneurs. For instance, we developed an ordinance on beekeeping and SDGs that promotes and protects this economic activity, highlighting its relevance to producing healthy and accessible food for the population and showcasing bees as an indicator of a healthy environment. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) indicates that beekeeping can help alleviate poverty, protect biodiversity, and ensure food security.



In that context, we focused on the role of women as crucial players in this activity, and we included a specific article about Women and SDG 5 in the ordinance. When analyzing beekeeping, in the social imaginary, the activity is usually represented by men beekeepers. At the same time, plenty of women attend to the hive and develop the action with their husbands. Consequently, these men’s visibility in the activity has impacted the absence of womenpreneurs and businesswomen doing beekeeping.


Also, we have observed that beekeeping has not had enough inter-generational transmission. It is a lucrative activity in multiple aspects that can be carried out by female-headed households, single women, or any women that want to leave poverty and be included in the economy.


In the context of three global crises like Climate Change, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the global security crisis and latent nuclear risk that affects human life and impacts all communities, we emphasize the preponderant role of the Governments in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda for the good living.


This article is based on the experience of the Smartly #Women2030 program, and the conclusions published in the UTC online Reports: Vibrant and Inclusive Urban Life First and Second Edition.


Article by:Prof. Analia Pastran, Member in the Steering Committee of WUC-UN-Habitat and CEO of Smarlty and Evangelina Colli, Director of Localizing the SDGs of Smartly, Social Entrepreneurship on the SDGs



Arrival of the Entrepreneurial Revolution

Arrival of the Entrepreneurial Revolution

The Arrival of the Entrepreneurial Revolution

Wednesday, September 28, 2022, by Dr. Hartmut-Heinrich Meyer, Senior researcher and lecturer at the FOM

The existing knowledge to promote entrepreneurship has been developed during political and social stability. Since 1975, the world has witnessed a surge in entrepreneurial activities due to international investments, necessity entrepreneurship, and new trade patterns due to opening markets in Russia and China. Consequently, entrepreneurship could develop in conjunction with the success of multinational enterprises in globalized markets. Competitiveness among the enterprises was based on innovation and creativity. Meanwhile, success in entrepreneurship is determined by the ability of the entrepreneurs to optimize a resourced-based view while developing their key competencies and innovations, and the market-based view as the ability to comply with market standards. The combination of both approaches forms the foundation for growth and profitability. Since 2000, the world society has called for a transformation of value chains due to climate change, digitalization, and migration.


Additionally, economic growth rates were jeopardized as the production and consumption of goods needed to be reviewed in light of the three pillars of sustainability. The pandemic forced entrepreneurs to check value chains and working models and accelerated digitalization. Moreover, the actual geopolitical conflicts demonstrate that access to energy and raw materials will determine future competition. Access to markets appears limited and threatens existing models of specialization. Currently, there exists a global threat of a worldwide depression. 


The arrival of a new entrepreneurial revolution calls for a new balance in entrepreneurial thinking between the need for income generation and social responsibility. The traditional method of linear optimization of resources through innovations to create growth and income must be extended to sustainability and resilience. In answering this question, we must combine new creative thinking with innovative ways of production using alternative energy resources and new opportunities in fields such as biochemistry or cyber-based production. In particular, the arrival of the new entrepreneurial revolution requires integrating artificial and human intelligence for new organizational models. Moreover, the latest industrial revolution calls for a new human-machine interface. The digital transformation of value chains focused on creating intelligent factories and called for highly specialized and creative entrepreneurship. Artificial intelligence allows for managing conventional and monotonous tasks more cost-effectively and calls to stimulate human critical and creative thinking. 


In particular, the arrival of the new entrepreneurial revolution requires integrating artificial and human intelligence for new organizational models to comply with future consumer behavior. Sustainable and social values will far drive the next generation of entrepreneurs. The new entrepreneurial mindset calls for rethinking the combination of cyber-physical systems, responsible management of resources, and a human-centered society. The information technology-based products will increase productivity in value chains and alter competition on the ground of labor costs. The strategic advantages of developing threshold countries will be reduced as production needs more highly skilled workers for a new human-machine interaction.


Moreover, the decision of production places will be more influenced by the cost of raw materials and energy. Additionally, algorithms and future self-optimization in the planning and performance of production will reduce entrepreneurial risk. Therefore, future success in entrepreneurship will be based on the ability to react highly agilely in response to market changes and leverage their human creativity and operational effectiveness.


The current global challenges support the arrival of a new entrepreneurial revolution that allows for changes and new entrepreneurial chances. These global challenges require breaking the chains of constant self-optimization on the grounds of creativity and human-centered entrepreneurial thinking. Technical systems must be regarded as a tool to answer the questions of sustainability and economic growth. However, they will remain a tool to challenge human creativity rather than replace the workforce. The new entrepreneurial mindset must be based on the sustainable use of resources in employing technical innovations and the social requirement of resilience. This consumption-oriented management of value chains will reduce the input of resources and geopolitical conflicts.


Nevertheless, the world must rethink how to support and regulate entrepreneurship. The drive for self-determination requires a new entrepreneurial mindset to focus on liberalism and economic freedom to let the necessary changes happen. Moreover, it is necessary to reconsider how to share knowledge to boost creativity and innovation in a new set of relationships between advanced and developing economies to allow for local production and global social welfare. By the end of the day, the arrival of the new entrepreneurial revolution will be a humane entrepreneurial revolution based on new technologies. 


Article by:
Dr. Hartmut-Heinrich Meyer, Senior researcher and lecturer at the FOM, Fachhochschule für Ökonomie and  Management. Board  Director of the German Small Business Consultant Association, ICSB Board Member