Most studies on women-owned or -managed firms have found that such firms perform more poorly than do men-owned or -managed firms. However, a forthcoming report by the Inter-American Development Bank has found some interesting data on Caribbean firms led by women. Indeed, unlike other regions in the world, Caribbean firms led by women have higher sales growth than firms led by men.
According to the report, for a 10 percent increase in the incidence of female-owned business, growth sales, and hence employment, would increase by 1.6 percent in tourism countries and by 0.8 percent in commodity countries. On the other hand, if the number of firms managed by women was to increase by 10 percent, sales growth would increase by 0.5 and 0.8 percent for tourism and commodity countries, respectively.
Country-level indicators suggest that gender parity, understood as relative access to education of males and females, is similar to the Caribbean and other small economies. Also, the participation of Caribbean women in management positions in the private sector is close to the average of small economies. Therefore, further analysis is needed to identify how Caribbean businesswomen are different from their peers around the world and how these characteristics contribute to their success in business.
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