Every second small business in Ukraine is started by woman

How has the full-scale war changed gender division among entrepreneurs?

8 March 2023

In 2023, women started every second sole proprietorship (SP) in Ukraine. From the beginning of the year, there were registered 36 892 new sole proprietorships, and 18 776, namely 51 % of them, were created by women.

The percentage of women engaged with starting businesses has risen since 2017. During 2020-2021, entrepreneurs opened 51% of new businesses, but the full-scale war decreased this indicator. During 2022, women registered more than 93 000 SPs, and it represents 48 % of the total number of new businesses.

Dynamics of SP registration

The third part of new SP, registered by women, is occupied with retail trade, and they are twice as many as men in this category. There are 10 658 entrepreneurs who started their own businesses in the IT sphere, which is in second place based on the number of registrations. However, it is only 34 % of the overall number of SPs in this category.

Gender division of new SP in the IT sphere

In 2022, women overtook men in the sphere of the provision of other individual services (85% of new businesses are registered by women), such as the production of clothing, education, and HR spheres (75%), social assistance(74%), health-care (72%), etc.

Nevertheless, the position of women in running companies is still not promising. Year by year, the number of female chiefs of medium and large businesses has been diminishing. In 2021, women ran only 35% of the business. The year of the full-scale war shortened its number to 29%. In general, there were opened only 9 405 companies headed by women last year.

In 2023, there is seen as a tendency to increase. From the beginning of the year, there have been opened 3849 businesses, and 30 % of new companies are women-led.

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