Entrepreneurship in Switzerland: Business activity by women

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

In 2019, only 7.3 per cent of women were ready to engage in early entrepreneurial activities (which do not necessarily translate into a company), compared to the 12.3 per cent of men. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2019/2020 Report points out that 37 of the 50 reference countries exhibit a more favorable women/men founders ratio. However, the ratio of female entrepreneurs compared to their male counterparts increased from 0.6 to 0.9 between 2019 and 2020.

In 2019, just less than half of business start-ups in Switzerland (46%) involved one or more women according to the estimates of the Federal Statistics Office (FSO).

Number of new enterprises established in 2019




By women and men



By men



By women



Source: FSO, Statistics on business demography 2019 (Estimate, next publication: December 2022)

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 37.9% in Q2 2020, 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% in Q2 2020, versus 10.2% for their male counterparts.

Source: FSO, Swiss Labor Force Survey (SLFS), 2nd quarter 2020 (quarterly publication)


Last modification 23.03.2022

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