The blog

Female Entrepreneurship in Panama

Panema Female Founder

















Entrepreneurship has recently gained large traction within Panama. Each day the number of entrepreneurs and self-owned businesses increases. As countries worldwide, such as Panama, begin to see this increase in entrepreneurship, we want to understand how that increase is occurring, what the entrepreneurial ecosystem looks like, and the role of women within this new and exciting entrepreneurial community. Below is what we found from research and interviews with female founders in Panama.

In Panama, the number of female entrepreneurs outnumbers males. Sherina Mayani is a local female entrepreneur, life, and business coach in Panama who recently noticed that women in Panama are becoming more conscious of the entrepreneurial sphere. Only 23% of female entrepreneurs in Panama begin their business out of necessity. Many women see starting their own business as a viable form of employment. The women surveyed in Panama tend not to be afraid of failure, but instead worry more about their own capabilities. They also worry about what others will think of them because of the fact that in Panama most people prefer traditional employment due to financial security. However, these fears and doubts have yet to stop the entrepreneurial women of Panama. The businesses these women start are most commonly related to trade, hotels, or restaurants.

Women make up 75% of college graduates in Panama and account for 52% of managers and professional personnel, however, 70% of female owned businesses are located within the informal sector of the economy. Governmental agencies and business accelerators are pushing for an increase of women-led businesses within the more innovative and technological formal  sectors of the economy. Sherina Mayani acknowledges governmental agencies of Panama for their work to encourage and aid women attempting to start their own businesses. New laws for entrepreneurship, along with large networking events, are vital for the success of women owned businesses.

Women entrepreneurs in Panama want the world to know that entrepreneurship is growing within their communities. Each day the number of innovative, talented, and inspiring women starting their own businesses increases. Panama is becoming a new hot spot for entrepreneurs and should not be overlooked.

By Claire Reining