Curt, C., & Kamberidou, I. (2019). GENDER, ENTREPRENEURSHIP, SPORT AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN FRANCE. 5th Scientific Conference on "Physical Activity and Health". School of Physical Education & Sport Science, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 12-14 April, Athens, Greece. Sociology Lab–Sociology of Sport. Copy at


Physical activity, health and well-being are valued in France, where over 65% of the population practice sport (Schann, 2014). French towns provide sport clubs, athletic facilities and parks for jogging, running or cycling and most workplaces include gyms, fitness programs or sport activities. Companies like Apple have integrated gyms in the workplace; the bank Société Générale provides dance activities for employees and managers; the Valeo group-smart technology for smart cars organizes sport events resembling the Olympics. Physical activities are encouraged to improve or maintain employee health while developing-strengthening cooperation and teambuilding for both genders. In contrast, gender inequality prevails, especially in sport leadership and entrepreneurship. This study focuses on the major obstacles confronted by women entrepreneurs in France and in francophone countries.

Method: In depth literature review (30 studies) on women’s entrepreneurial activities over the period 2002-2018, a topic not sufficiently studied in France, including two studies on gender inequalities in sport.

Results: The leaky pipeline, a barrier to retention, along with the family/work conflict, lack of trust, funding or access to capital and limited-inadequate networking.


Need to eliminate gender stereotypes in France. Out of the 30 million people over 18 years of age who play sport or engage in physical activities at least once a week, almost half are women (14.5 million). On the other hand, women continue to be invisible (underrepresented) in sport leadership and entrepreneurship. They usually turn to social entrepreneurship: education, social care or health services. Future studies required to identity obstacles confronted by women entrepreneurs in France, the country of the first woman Olympic entrepreneur, Alice Milliat, who was compared to Pierre de Coubertin in 1922 for the successful organization of the "Women’s Olympic Games" in Paris on August 20, 1922, an event which attracted 20,000 spectators (Kamberidou, 2016).