Who wants to be an entrepreneur?

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1 Entrepreneurship at a Glance 215 Key findings: Italy Who wants to be an entrepreneur? In all the economies of the world, entrepreneurship is key for economic development and to promoting social integration and reducing inequalities. Entrepreneurship at a Glance presents an original collection of indicators for measuring the state of entrepreneurship, along with key facts and explanations of the policy context. The 215 edition features a special chapter on the profile of the entrepreneur. The entrepreneurial risk There are significant differences across countries on how the entrepreneurial risk is perceived overall by individuals, but when looking at patterns by gender, they are instead very similar: women always appear less prone to take the entrepreneurial risk, and Italy is no exception (see Figure 1). In the OECD area, 5% of men and 35% of women declare that they would rather take the risk and start up their own business than work for someone else. Values are much higher in the United States and higher in Canada, France and the United Kingdom. In Italy, only 35% of men and 21% of women would take the entrepreneurial risk, the lowest shares among the G7 countries and well below the OECD average. Figure 1. How is the entrepreneurial risk perceived? Percentage of individuals who agree with the statement I would rather take a risk and build my own business than work for someone else, Italy Germany Japan OECD France UK Canada USA Source: Entrepreneurship at a Glance 215, OECD Publishing, Paris. The sentiment of not having the adequate education and finances to be able to create one s own business might be one factor behind the reluctant attitude toward entrepreneurial risk in Italy. Indeed, the percentages of Italian men and women considering that they have the possibility of accessing training or funding to create and grow a start-up are particularly low compared to the OECD average and other G7 countries (see Figures 2 and 3). Moreover, as men and women have different perceptions on the possibility of accessing training and money to set up a business, with consistently lower shares of women declaring having access than men, these results also contribute explaining the gender gap face to the entrepreneurial risk.

2 Figure 2. Is it possible to access training on how to start or grow a business? Percentage of individuals who consider they have access to formal or informal training on how to start or grow a business, Italy Japan France Germany OECD UK USA Canada Source: OECD based on Gallup data. Figure 3. Is it possible to access money to start a business? Percentage of individuals who consider they have access to money (own savings or any other source) they would need if they wanted to start or grow a business, Italy France Japan OECD UK Germany USA Canada Source: OECD based on Gallup data. As in most other OECD countries, also in Italy more women than men see the entrepreneurs as positive role models for youth (see Figure 4). 1 Figure 4. In my country, people who run their own business are considered good role model for youth Percentage, Japan Italy OECD France Germany UK USA Canada Source: OECD based on Gallup data. December 215

3 Earnings from self-employment Another possible discouraging factor is earnings from self-employment, which are usually lower for women than they are for men. Italian women entrepreneurs earned 55% less than their male counterparts in , while the OECD average was 33% (see Figure 5). Besides, between 26 and 212 the gender gap in self-employment earnings in Italy has further increased by 7.4 percentage points (see Figure 6). Figure 51. Gender gap in self-employment earnings Difference between male and female earnings as a percentage of male earnings average 26-7 average FRA OECD CAN GBR DEU USA ITA Source: OECD based on Labour Force Surveys. 8 Figure 6. Changes in gender gap in self-employment earnings Percentage points, average compared to 26-7 average Source: OECD based on Labour Force Surveys. Recent trends FRA GBR USA DEU CAN ITA Self-employment can be an important driver of entrepreneurialism. Similar to the trends observed in other G7 countries, notably Germany, Japan and the United States, the self-employment rate and self-employment jobs in Italy remain below pre-crisis levels (see Figures 7 and 8). December 215

4 Figure 7. Self-employment rates Trend index, 27=1 12 CAN DEU FRA GBR ITA JPN USA Source: OECD MEI database and US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Figure 8. Number of self-employment jobs Trend index, 27= CAN DEU FRA GBR ITA JPN USA Source: OECD MEI database and US Bureau of Labor Statistics. In this context, the shares of Italian women who are self-employed with employees (3.7%) or own-account workers (12%) are the highest among G7 countries, and significantly above the OECD average (see Figure 9 and Figure 1). It is likely that many of the own-account workers represent necessity rather than opportunity entrepreneurs, consistently with the low shares of individuals declaring a preference for taking the entrepreneurial risk. The gap between the proportion of male and female entrepreneurs with employees is large in Italy as in all OECD countries. Italian women entrepreneurs work predominantly in the services sector, as it is also the case in most OECD countries (see Figure 11). In many countries however, evidence for young women entrepreneurs points to considerable diversity. December 215

5 Figure 9. Share of women and men self-employed with employees Percentage, 214 JPN GBR USA FRA OECD DEU CAN ITA Source: Entrepreneurship at a Glance 215, OECD Publishing, Paris. Figure 1. Share of women and men own account workers Percentage, JPN DEU FRA USA OECD GBR CAN ITA Source: Entrepreneurship at a Glance 215, OECD Publishing, Paris Source: OECD Gender portal. Figure 11. Self-employed whose activity is in services Percentage, 214 JPN FRA ITA OECD USA GBR CAN DEU December 215

6 Further reading OECD (215), Entrepreneurship at a Glance, OECD publishing, Paris. OECD Gender Data Portal: December 215

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