According to the GEM 2020/2021 Women’s Entrepreneurship Report, only one in every three growth-oriented entrepreneurs is a woman. Women are less likely than men to be active in starting a business and face unique challenges when setting up and leading their own businesses. These barriers include (but are not limited to): barriers to education, finance, social capital and networks, market linkages, burden of care work and gender dynamics within the family, etc.

There is growing recognition among world leaders that women entrepreneurs are making significant contributions to the global economy and society. Globally, an estimated 274 million women are involved in business start-ups in addition to 139 million women-owners/managers of established businesses and 144 million informal women-investors.


Promoting women’s entrepreneurship is significant because:

  • It increases women’s access to income
  • It is a foundation for women’s economic empowerment
  • It leads to overall economic growth of a nation
  • It is crucial for achievement of substantive equality
  • It increases total number of entrepreneurs and labor force participation

Women’s right to equitable economic opportunities and its critical importance for sustainable development is embedded in several multilateral normative frameworks. The G20 holds a strategic role in securing future global economic growth and prosperity.

G20 EMPOWER 2023 is committed to highlighting the role of women’s entrepreneurship towards the economic empowerment of women, and overall growth of a nation’s economy.

The SDG Goal 5 aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. G20 EMPOWER 2023 will pursue women’s empowerment under SDG Goal 5 as an overarching priority through the G20 work streams. To that end, the focus area that has been identified is: Women’s Entrepreneurship: A Win-Win for Equity and Economy. To address the unique barriers faced by women entrepreneurs, a multipronged approach is envisaged through mentoring and capacity building, engendering markets and financing, scaling up innovations and adopting global best practices.

The way forward under India’s Presidency is to collaborate with the G20 members and guest countries, and take forward initiatives to promote women’s entrepreneurship, by facilitating discussions and forums addressing barriers faced specifically by women entrepreneurs.