Received: 2021-02-10  |  Accepted: 2021-04-15  |  Published: 2021-06-30


The gender-based attainment of education and female entrepreneurship: the European perspective


Although in European countries women obtain higher education more often than men, they still comprise about 30% of entrepreneurs. To understand the gender gap in entrepreneurship, the study aims to assess the impact of education on female entrepreneurship in two aspects, as explained by both male and female education levels and by different levels of education (primary, secondary, tertiary). To verify hypotheses, the empirical models are estimated with female entrepreneurship as the dependent variable and with the level of education as the independent one with the panel regression method for panel data for 31 European countries yearly 2000-2019. Results confirm that both male and female education levels impact female entrepreneurship. Female entrepreneurship is positively related to the share of females with higher and partial secondary education, as well as the share of males with primary education. Female entrepreneurship is reduced by the share of females with primary education and the share of males with higher education. There are two aspects of novelty in the paper. Firstly, female entrepreneurship is explained by both male and female education levels as both genders create the social environment for entrepreneurship; female education has a direct impact through the skills and competences, while male education impacts indirectly by influencing the business environment. The second aspect is the assumption that female entrepreneurship is explained by different levels of education (primary, secondary and tertiary), which impact their decisions to enter entrepreneurship.


female entrepreneurship, female education levels, male education levels, European countries

JEL classifications

L26 , J16






This is an open access issue and all published articles are licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License


Gawel, Aleksandra
Poznań University of Economics and Business, Poznań, Poland
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Journal title

Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Issues





Issue date

June 2021

Issue DOI


ISSN 2345-0282 (online)


VšĮ Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Center, Vilnius, Lithuania


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