Focusing on emerging markets, this paper compares the motives behind the entrepreneurial activities of women within and across national boundaries. The research builds on the opportunity-necessity spectra and explores the interaction of four types of entrepreneurial motives: (i) becoming independent; (ii) gaining financial rewards; (iii) the lack of employment alternatives; and (iv) multiple motives. Panel data from 25 emerging market countries for the seven-year period between 2010 and 2016 are tested through a static approach comparing fixed and random effects followed by dynamic analysis using the generalised method of moments estimator. The findings reveal that financial rewards (maintain/increase income) encourage women towards international entrepreneurship, whereas necessity-driven motives (lack of job alternatives) lead women to start businesses in their home countries. Additionally, nonfinancial desires (such as becoming independent) have a negative impact on both domestic and international entrepreneurship by women.