American women are increasingly likely to start businesses--but Thai women are even more entrepreneurial. So concludes a new report on women's business ownership conducted by researchers from Babson College, the London School of Economics, and the Ewing M. Kauffman Foundation. The U.S. ranked 10th among the countries that were surveyed--eight of the nine nations that were ranked higher were emerging economies. In contrast, the bottom 10 on the list were a mix of the fully developed (Japan, France, Sweden) and former communist states. Researchers say that the high rate of female entrepreneurship in developing countries is mostly due to poverty. Worldwide, 44% of women business owners said they started their ventures out of economic necessity, compared to only 31% of male entrepreneurs.

Rate of Entrepreneurship Among Women by Country

Of the 37 countries studied, Asian and Latin American women were found to be much more likely to start companies than Europeans.

Click here to view a map of the countries studied. (Link points to a PDF, 301kb)