Skill Shortages as a Barrier to Women’s Start Ups: A Model with Evidence from Eswatini

Zuzana Brixiova and Thierry Kangoye, April, 2019

This paper examines gender gaps in entrepreneurship in developing and emerging countries through linking entrepreneurship to skills and productivity. The approach reflects the stylized facts that women in less developed countries are often starting their own businesses with less education, work experience and participation in business networks, as evidenced in, for example, Hallward-Driemier (2013). Women tend to be less confident than men in their entrepreneurial abilities, i.e. their capacity to open and run productive businesses (GEM, 2017). Besides skills related to opening and running businesses, women often have less training in technical skills that could facilitate their entry into higher value-added sectors or help raise productivity of their firms.

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Skill Shortages as a Barrier to Women’s Start Ups: A Model with Evidence from Eswatini