Press Release

#IWD2021: EUROCHAMBRES Women Network COVID-19 survey underlines need for policies that support women entrepreneurship


To mark International Women’s Day 2021, EUROCHAMBRES has today published a new report entitled COVID-19: Impact on Women Entrepreneurs’. The report, based a survey of over 500 respondents in 20 countries, underlines the resilience and adaptability of women entrepreneurs across Europe. The findings reveal in particular that:

  • COVID-19 confinement measures have heightened a number of pre-existing obstacles to women entrepreneurship, notably in relation to work/life balance and access to finance.
  • At the same time, the crisis has had a transformative impact on many women entrepreneurs’ business practices and models.

Other striking data from the survey includes:

  • Over 46% of the respondents have introduced digital sales and service promotion in response to confinement measures.
  • 50% said that the pandemic has had a strong to heavy impact on their work/life balance.
  • While financial liquidity was identified as a major problem by respondents, the pandemic has had no significant effect on the dynamics of accessing credit, which remains a persistent challenge for women entrepreneurs.
  • Two-thirds of women entrepreneurs said that confinement measures have obliged them to change their business model, with a similar proportion believing that this will have a long-term impact on the company vision.
  • 75% indicated the need for training and support to enhance digital skills.

The EWN Chair, Martha Schultz, has urged policy-makers to ensure targeted support for women entrepreneurs in order to maximise their potential contribution to Europe’s economic recovery process: “Women entrepreneurs are a wonderful example of resilience and strength, especially nowadays. The report reiterates the need for policy measures across Europe that will enable women entrepreneurs to acquire digitalisation skills, adequate access to finance and a correct work-life balance.”

  • The EUROCHAMBRES Women’s Network is a pan- European community of women entrepreneurs and support providers across the chamber network.
  • The ‘COVID-19: Impact on Women Entrepreneurs’ report is based on a survey prepared by EUROCHAMBRES in close cooperation with Unioncamere and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber that ran between late January and late February 2021.
  • The results of the survey were previewed during an online event on 4 March.

EWN Survey Infographic