The article “Do Gender-Related Differences Exist in Spanish Entrepreneurial Activities?” by Pablo-Martí, García-Tabuenca, and Luis Crespo-Espert (2014) explores the behavioral differences between male and female entrepreneurs in Spain. The study’s primary focus is on personal characteristics, motivations for entrepreneurship, and the performance of businesses led by women compared to men.
Methodology: The research methodology involved a survey of 608 randomly selected Spanish entrepreneurs in 2009. The study utilized two primary methods: descriptive analyses and logistic estimations. The authors employed a commercial database called the Sistema de Análisis de Balances Ibéricos (SABI) to select participants for the survey. This database includes financial statements of Spanish and Portuguese companies and helped identify two distinct samples for the survey. The first sample, a “representative sample of companies,” consisted of 357 entrepreneurs, including 78 women, ensuring a statistically representative sample of the Spanish business population. The second sample, “sample of female companies,” included 251 respondents and focused on companies associated with female entrepreneurs, identified through the SABI database by the director general’s female name. These two samples helped the researchers observe two sides of female entrepreneurial activity: highly qualified women competing with men in the same sectors and less qualified women in traditionally female sectors. The final “total sample” consisted of 608 entrepreneurs, half of whom were women.
- Personal Characteristics: The study found significant age differences among female entrepreneurs. Those in the representative sample were younger on average (around 34 years) compared to those in the sample of female enterprises (around 43 years). Women in the representative sample had a higher concentration of university education, while those in the sample of female companies had fewer professional qualifications. A significant portion of Spanish entrepreneurs, especially women, come from families with an entrepreneurial tradition.
- Motivations and Objectives: The motivations for women to become entrepreneurs included quality of life, labor satisfaction, and income. Women often pursued entrepreneurship for personal self-realization, while men sought to be their boss. The desire for income improvement was more pronounced among women in the female industries sample.
- Entrepreneurial Activity Results: The research found that the type of business activity is often related to the entrepreneur’s previous experience. Female-owned enterprises predominantly chose service sectors. The economic performance of women-owned enterprises was generally lower than those owned by men, especially in the female sample. No significant gender difference was found in access to finance.
Conclusions: The study concludes that there are two distinct groups of female entrepreneurs in Spain: one comprising younger, highly qualified women in various sectors, and the other including older women in traditionally female sectors with limited qualifications. The research found no significant differences in firm performance when comparing women and men in the same environment. However, notable differences included a higher commitment to product innovation and a higher proportion of female employees in enterprises led by women. The study suggests that recognizing these differences is crucial for developing specific support programs and policies to promote female entrepreneurship, particularly focusing on innovation and technological improvement.