The Schwab Foundation announces, its regional "Entrepreneurs of the Year 2015"
The objective of this particular study is to identify the specific factors that are significant in explaining/determining entrepreneurial activity rates in Palestine, and especially across gender, so as to formulate policies that aim to promote or foster entrepreneurship in the country.The main hypothesis to be tested is whether “fear of failure” is a significant factor in explaining gender differences in entrepreneurial activity rates in Palestine? We utilise GEM’s Adult Population Survey (APS) data which is collected either by phone or face-to-face interviews. The sample size is roughly 2,000 observations based upon population census and stratified by age, gender, and governorate and possibly other stratification.
A combination of techniques and models were used - including the conditional mixed process, multinomial logit and logit regression models - which deal with categorical data. By applying such models on the datasets, it is possible to measure how each characteristic of a person can affect, individually, the propensity of entrepreneurship. The analysis was performed for both men and women separately, in order to assess whether fear of failure has a differential impact along gender lines.
Results indicate that fear of failure is found to be significant in lowering the probability of entrepreneurship, that is the more risk aversion, the less entrepreneurial propensity. On the contrary, skill perception seems to be always significant in increasing the predicted probability of entrepreneurial propensity for both men and women, and it is expected to reduce significantly the predicted probability of fear of failure.
On the other hand, after controlling for all other factors and characteristics, results indicate that women are less likely to be entrepreneurs than men, and that this difference is mainly due to “unobserved factors”. Indeed, it seems that the gender gap in entrepreneurial activity rates cannot be explained by differences in fear of failure. Part of this gap can be explained by differences in other controlled factors – such as education, age, income, and skill perception.
Furthermore, results show that being in the lowest or middle income percentile increases the probability of fear of failure for both men and women. It is also found that education affects fear of failure in a similar manner for men as it does for women. In addition, cultural contexts, such as, religion, local traditions and expectations towards female roles, might have a greater influence, mainly in rural areas, on females’ entrepreneurial perception, and they might reduce their entrepreneurship propensity.
Policies are needed to promote and encourage female entrepreneurship and empowerment to reduce the gender gap. Promoting a female’s skill perception, education, vocational education, increasing access to finance sources, networking, economic opportunities, as well as sharing of household responsibilities, could help tackle some of the unobserved factors that influence women’s fear of failure and entrepreneurial opportunities. At the World Economic Forum's recent Dead Sea meeting in Jordan, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship announced its regional winners for 2015. Thirty-three winners were selected in recognition of their innovative approaches and potential for global impact. Several winners were announced by Mrs Schwab, founding member of the Schwab Foundation along with her husband 35 years ago, and in the presence of Jordan's King Abdullah II. Maysoun Odeh Gangat, founder and Director of Nissa FM, was recognised with an award at the ceremony for creating a Palestinian radio station exclusively targeting women in the Middle East. When speaking with Middle East Business, Maysoun expressed her surprise, joy and pride at winning this prestigious award, saying that it recognises not only her efforts, but also those of her team and partners who've worked tirelessly since Nissa FM's launch four years ago. As the first radio station specifically created for women in Palestine, her aim was to enrich women's lives through their daily broadcasts (the word nissa means women in Arabic). The definition of a social entrepreneur by the Schwab Foundation concentrates upon the fact that social entrepreneurs drive social innovation and transformation in various fields including education, health, environment and enterprise development. They pursue poverty alleviation goals with entrepreneurial zeal, business methods and the courage to innovate and overcome traditional practices. A social entrepreneur, similar to a business entrepreneur, builds strong and sustainable organisations, which are either set up as nonprofit or for-profit social enterprises. The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship provides unparalleled platforms at the regional and global level to highlight and advance leading models of sustainable social innovation. It identifies a select community of social entrepreneurs and engages it in shaping global, regional and industry agendas that improve the state of the world in close collaboration with the other stakeholders of the WEF.