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Gender Issues in Entrepreneurship

Maria Minniti

Foundations and Trends(R) in Entrepreneurship, 2009, vol. 5, issue 7–8, 497-621

Abstract: Entrepreneurship is a human universal. All over the world, and throughout history, people have created businesses. Yet, although women make up more than 50 percent of the world population, they own and manage significantly fewer businesses than men. Venture types and management styles vary across genders as well. Women entrepreneurship presents several distinctive characteristics that differentiate it from men entrepreneurship. But variations exist also across women entrepreneurs in various countries, and between women who are involved in entrepreneurship and those who are not. Overall, the explanation for the behavior of women entrepreneurs and its distinctiveness is complex and multifaceted. Evidence to date suggests that reasons contributing to explaining these differences include demographic and socio-economic variables, subjective perceptions, and cultural factors and institutions, and that such differences have significant implications at the macro-economic level. Studying female entrepreneurship allows researchers to ask questions that shed light on the linkages between entrepreneurship and wealth creation, employment choices and cognition, human capital accumulation and labor market structure, employment choice and family dynamics, business creation and peace, and many others. From a scientific point of view, the study of female entrepreneurship as a distinct area of inquiry informs us not only about women behavior, but also about entrepreneurial and human behaviors in general. All over the world, female entrepreneurship has become an important component of academic and policy conversations around entrepreneurship. Still, there is much we don't yet understand. Taking stock of what has been learned so far, identifying the main gaps, and encourage scholars to push the frontier of knowledge in this area further are the goals of this work.

Keywords: Gender economics; Labor market; Female entrepreneurship; Entrepreneurship; Labor economics; Gender studies (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009
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