Entrepreneurship in Switzerland: Business activity by women

The percentage of women entrepreneurs remains lower than that of their male counterparts in Switzerland.

In 2018, only 4.72 per cent of women were ready to engage in early entrepreneurial activities (which do not necessarily translate into a company), compared to the 9.98 per cent of men. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2018/2019 Report points out that 25 of the 30 reference countries exhibit a more favorable women/men founders ratio.

In 2017, just less than half of business start-ups in Switzerland (45%) involved one or more women according to the estimates of the Federal Statistics Office (FSO).

Number of new enterprises established in 2017




By women and men



By men



By women



Source: FSO, Statistics on business demography 2017 (Estimate, next publication: December 2020)

Women are still under-represented in the category of sole proprietors or employees of their own company, but they are gaining ground. This percentage of women in the population of entrepreneurs stood at 37.3% in Q2 2019, whereas it only reached 28.2% in 1991, according to the Swiss Labor Force Survey (SLFS) by the FSO. The percentage of female entrepreneurs in the resident female population stood at 6.3% in Q2 2019, versus 10.7% for their male counterparts.

Source: FSO, Swiss Labor Force Survey (SLFS), 2nd quarter 2019 (quarterly publication)


Last modification 28.02.2020

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