Number of women entrepreneurs up by a fifth in five years

The number of female entrepreneurs has increased by 21 per cent in the last five years, the Belgian union of self-employed entrepreneurs, Unizo, announced on Friday.

"Women have been catching up for some time, but at the average net growth rate of the last three years, it would take until 2081 before there are as many male as female self-employed entrepreneurs in Belgium," said Claire Selis, director of Vrouwennet, a network of female entrepreneurs, and Unizo CEO Danny Van Assche.

According to the National Institute for the Social Security of the Self-employed, there were 417,610 self-employed women in Belgium in 2022, compared with 783,119 men. This means that slightly more than every third self-employed person in Belgium is a woman.

Compared with other European countries, Belgium is average. It ranks 10th, with working 10.2 per cent of working women aged 20-64 self-employed at the end of 2023. Greece, Italy and Poland head the list, and Germany is in second last place.



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