University Undertakes New Study on Women Entrepreneurs

Ottawa - Carleton University’s Centre for Women in Politics and Public Leadership is embarking on a national study examining how women entrepreneurs evaluate risk differently from men and the impact of those differences on business and the Canadian economy.

The research, conducted in partnership with BMO Financial Group and The Beacon Agency consultants group, will fill a much-needed gap in research on gender, risk and entrepreneurship so that the perspectives of women are fully appreciated, said Clare Beckton, the centre’s executive director.

The Canada-wide study will commence this month and includes a literature review, interviews with men and women entrepreneurs and a Critical Conversation with key leaders from business, governments, civil society and educational institutions - a copyrighted process developed at Carleton. A report of the research findings is expected to be released in March 2016. “Continuously re-enforcing the image of women as more risk averse than men hurts women. There needs to be a greater exploration of what different approaches to risk mean for an entrepreneur. Does it impact on their likelihood of accessing capital and achieving growth? Clare Beckton

• According to the Canadian Task Force for Women’s Business Growth, the role of women entrepreneurs is at a unique crossroads:
• In 2007, women retained ownership in 47 per cent of Canada’s 1.6 million small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and majority ownership of 16 per cent.
• Majority women-owned enterprises represented more than $117 billion per annum of economic activity in Canada in 2007.
• A 20 per cent increase in total revenues at majority women-owned SMEs would contribute an additional $2 billion a year to the economy.
• Women’s enterprises are not growing at the same rate as male enterprises in Canada or the United States.

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