As long-time researchers at INCAE Business School , we’ve found that gender discrimination in Latin American societies significantly reduces the effective participation of women in the development of new businesses. It keeps women from getting ahead professionally and thus limits possibilities for their family. In an even broader context, inequality prevents women from efficiently contributing to business development in countries of the region. This reality means that the possibilities of undertaking new ventures are few. Most of the women surveyed for this INCAE study mentioned that they have suffered discrimination while doing business because of their gender. In fact, the results of this research paper show that women perceive greater inequality in opportunities to create companies and face more barriers in accessing resources, mainly financial ones, to develop their enterprises. These barriers limit the outcomes and growth prospects of businesses created by women. Indeed, they prevent women, who represent more than half of the population, from efficiently contributing to the creation of wealth and jobs in Latin American countries. The pandemic crisis has considerably aggravated the situations. According to 2020 InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB) projections, the Latin American and Caribbean region will lose between 6.3% and 14.4% of its Gross Domestic Project (GDP) during 2020-22. Considering also the economic and social inequalities of the region, the effects of the pandemic will disproportionately affect the most vulnerable segments, particularly women, and thus further reduce their chances of entrepreneurship.

Harvard Review of Latin America
Incae Business School

Cardoza, G, & Ilie, C. (2021). Entrepreneurship and Gender: Policies for Closing the Gap in the Covid Era. Harvard Review of Latin America, Fall 2018, XVIII(1).