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Women's economic opportunities in the formal private sector in Latin America and the Caribbean : a focus on entrepreneurship (English)

Entrepreneurship contributes to a vibrant private sector and can stimulate broader economic growth. Not only do entrepreneurs generate income, but they often create new jobs and competition among firms, leading to increases in productivity and technology transfer. As innovators, entrepreneurs also bring knowledge and new ideas to the economy, another important element of growth. Promoting women entrepreneurs is increasingly viewed as an important lever for private sector development. Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) countries have experienced an important growth of microenterprises led by women, but little is known about the factors that explain this trend. Attention has focused on the development of microenterprises by women in recent decades, both as a ladder out of poverty and as a means for the economic empowerment of women. This report focuses on women's economic opportunities in the formal private sector in LAC with a special focus on female entrepreneurship. The report considers the reasons behind women's decisions to become entrepreneurs, and analyzes differences in the characteristics and productivity of male and female-owned firms. Barriers to entrepreneurship and their potential gender impact are discussed, with special attention to the issues of access to credit and asset accumulation. The objective of this report is to explore if women are choosing size and sector for their micro and Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) firms optimally, or if this is the result of multiple constraints, including gender constraints. This report focuses on entrepreneurship in the formal private sector. Although little is known about barriers and enabling factors for microenterprise and SME growth and productivity, policy interventions commerce, and other more traditional sectors.


  • Document Date


  • Document Type

    Women in Development and Gender Study

  • Report Number


  • Volume No


  • Total Volume(s)


  • Country

    Latin America,


  • Region

    Latin America & Caribbean, The World Region,

  • Disclosure Date


  • Disclosure Status


  • Doc Name

    Women's economic opportunities in the formal private sector in Latin America and the Caribbean : a focus on entrepreneurship

  • Keywords

    Poverty Reduction & Economic Management;Socio-Economic Database for Latin America and the Caribbean;poverty and gender;implementation of gender equality policy;form of discrimination against woman;female entrepreneur;female labor force participation;small and medium enterprise;informal sources of finance;council of woman;mining and extraction industry;Micro and Small Enterprises;formal sources of credit;progress towards gender equality;gender gap in employment;economic empowerment of woman;gender wage gap;share of woman;formal sector employment;woman entrepreneur;Entrepreneurship;value added tax;high risk aversion;labor market efficiency;labor market reform;access to training;traditional gender roles;differences in earnings;household survey data;labor and materials;demand for credit;lack of opportunity;traditional household survey;education and health;proportion of woman;high unemployment rate;types of firms;issue of access;learning by doing;years of schooling;promoting gender equality;human capital accumulation;secondary school enrollment;information on business;opportunity for woman;cost of labor;firm owner;



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Women's economic opportunities in the formal private sector in Latin America and the Caribbean : a focus on entrepreneurship (English). Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.