Entrepreneurship has been suggested as an alternative career model for women to gain economic empowerment while maintaining caring obligations. In this study, we investigate how gender and living situation affect entrepreneurs’ engagement in their business, home, well-being and business success in both France and Germany. Data from the European Social Survey were used, which included 470 French and 622 German self-employed people. For the French, women reported more working hours when living alone but there were no gender differences for the other living situations. For the Germans, there were no gender differences when the self-employed person lived alone; for the other living situations, men reported more working hours. Women reported working more household hours than men in both countries. There were no gender differences in life satisfaction for German self-employed people regardless of living situation; for the French, gender differences varied by living situation. Men reported more business success than women in both countries. Results suggest that self-employed people in Germany follow a traditional breadwinner model, whereas in France, self-employed women do more paid and unpaid work at the same time. In sum, entrepreneurship may only be empowering for self-employed women living alone.
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