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Latvian women are the most active business founders in Europe: 10 percent of women aged between 18 and 64 in the country have started their own business, according to new figures. However, the latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2013/2014, which was carried out by the Baltic International Center for Economic Policy Studies in collaboration with the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, found that the gap between the number of businessmen and businesswomen in Latvia is still huge.
The study reveals that 48 percent of Latvian residents believe that they have the necessary skills to lead a company, while 23 percent of respondents said that they are planning on starting a business in the next three years, which is the third level of any EU country. Meanwhile, 13.3 percent of Latvian residents are involved in business activities at an early stage, which is the highest level of any EU country (in Estonia, the figure is 13.1 percent and in Lithuania it is 12.4 percent).
The proportion of new male entrepreneurs has slightly reduced in the past two years (from 19 percent to 17 percent). The average early-stage Latvian businessman in 2013 was a 34-year-old man of Latvian ethnicity who has a vocational high school education, lives in Riga and heads a company which provides services.
At the same time, the proportion of early stage female business owners has increased - compared with 2012, when 8 percent of women aged between 18 and 64 had started a business, the number of women who turned to business activities in 2013 was 10 percent. This is the highest level in all of the European countries that were included in the study (in Estonia, the figure was 9 percent; in Switzerland 8 percent, in Sweden 6 percent and in Germany 4 percent).