“Need and opportunity” as motivations for female entrepreneurship in Latin America





entrepreneur, female entrepreneurship, wage gap, unemployment, motivations


Context. Entrepreneurship is an intrinsic action for men and women; however, the path women must take differs significantly for various reasons.

Problem. Despite the upward trend in the presence of women in the business field, significant social, cultural, and financial limitations persist, influencing the pursuit of social equality.

Purpose. To identify motivations leading Latin American women, particularly Mexicans, to start their businesses, conducting an analysis of social and economic conditions of women, addressing aspects such as wage disparity, and discrimination in related aspects.

Methodology. A mixed methodology, that includes a literature review accompanied with descriptive and inferential statistical analyses is employed. Through a literature review and a selection of statistical data, the topic of female entrepreneurship in Latin America is analyzed. Sources such as the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), Statista, and the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (for its acronym in Spanish INEGI) reports were consulted, along with academic contributions by different authors.

Findings. Revealing data are presented regarding the existing gaps between women and men in terms of aspects such as high-level managerial position occupancy and employment rate. This data demonstrates through a t-student analysis that in a 5-year time-lapse, from 2018 to 2023, the salary gap hasn’t significantly decreased, and this turns into one of the main entrepreneurial motivations for women.

Originality from a transdisciplinary and sustainable innovation point of view. There is a scarcity of research within the field of female entrepreneurship in Latin America focusing on examining individual motivations. This approach can contribute to the design public or institutional policies aimed at promoting female entrepreneurship.

Conclusions and limitations. The literature review supports the notion that female entrepreneurship arises more out of necessity than opportunity. This study relies on analyzing information from various sources, which poses a limitation when attempting to analyze a specific variable. Therefore, to comprehend a phenomenon like explaining the differences in motives for entrepreneurship between genders, it would be necessary to obtain specific data, requiring an in-depth study.


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Author Biographies

Natalia Aguilar-Rosado, Research-Professor at CUCEA, Universidad de Guadalajara (UdeG)

Research-Professor at CUCEA, Universidad de Guadalajara (UdeG)

Alejandro Campos-Sánchez, Research-Professor at CUCEA, Universidad de Guadalajara (UdeG)

Research-Professor at CUCEA, Universidad de Guadalajara (UdeG)


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How to Cite

Aguilar-Rosado, N., & Campos-Sánchez, A. . (2024). “Need and opportunity” as motivations for female entrepreneurship in Latin America. Scientia Et PRAXIS, 4(07), 31–57. https://doi.org/10.55965/setp.4.07.a2



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