Despite the modest economic participation by Jordanian women, which remains at the 14-15% level, this participation has shown strong presence during the last wave of entrepreneurship that attracts many Jordanian women to fulfill their future aspirations.
This wave of entrepreneurship provides Jordanian women with the opportunity to overcome challenges and obstacles facing their effective participation in the economy, which has not exceeded 15%, according to official figures issued by the Department of General Statistics.
According to international studies on the gender gap, published by the World Economic Forum, which monitors the extent to which the gender gap is bridged in the various areas of development, the economic participation of Jordanian women is still below the required level, and continues to tip in favor of men in various economic sectors.
International indicators are more positive regarding women and their approach towards business entrepreneurship in general. The establishment of business is no longer monopolized by men, and the success of many women in leading projects has motivated others to venture in, especially with the proliferation of the internet and the appearance of new economic sectors that can be targeted.
A study that was recently carried out by the Sage Group shows that half the number of females between the ages of 18 and 24 wish to start their own projects. This is due to the fact that the cost of running nascent companies has decreased, and that the “open source” methods have permitted people who do not necessarily have a large technical background to become part of the business entrepreneurial system. Despite the recession, financing is still available. More importantly, obstacles facing business entrepreneurs are still relatively simple.
Recent studies published by the National Businesswomen Association believe that 2013 will be the women business entrepreneurship year, since 81% of businesswomen entrepreneurs are very optimistic regarding the overall performance of their businesses this year, while 66% believe they are more optimistic regarding 2013, compared to 2012. Meanwhile, 85% of them believe that the women are more amenable to starting their own business and to practice entrepreneurial activities this year, compared to 2012.
Internationally, and despite the fact that there is no sufficient information regarding the extent to which the international economic crisis affects women and the job market, initial indictors show an activity in establishing new projects to replace looking for a job. As an example, international studies indicate that revenues of projects established by women in the United States in 1997 amounted to 5.4 million, while they increased to reach 1.2 trillion dollars after 2007. There are 7.8 million women running their own projects in the United States.
Private venture capital financing funds tend to increase allocations related to funding companies run by women. This is due to a number of reasons, mainly, the increase of Arab women participation in economic activity, and the success of women in realizing high revenues.
Finally, social and economic changes witnessed by Jordan, represented in improving the status of women in general, play a major role in changing the mentality of Jordanian girls from looking for a job to becoming the owner of an income-generating project, and to contribute to enhancing the national economy one way or another.