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Women’s Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century

Women’s Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century

An International Multi-Level Research Analysis

Edited by Kate Lewis, Colette Henry, Elizabeth J. Gatewood and John Watson

Women’s Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century is the fourth in the series of books emanating from the DIANA International Research Network. The volume takes a multi-dimensional approach to coalesce a series of chapters around the central theme: gender and entrepreneurship today and in the future. The chapters span a diverse range of countries, methodologies, and levels of analysis – however, they all seek to contribute to an advancing understanding of women and their engagement with entrepreneurial endeavours.

Chapter 8: Gender-based differences in the performance of Slovenian high-growth companies

Karin Širec and Dijana Močnik

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, gender and management


Researchers, practitioners and policymakers alike emphasize firm growth as an indication of business success, yet existing research offers little consensus about entrepreneurial success. Policy programmes designed to stimulate and assist individual firms’ growth are commonplace, presumably in the hope that this will result in increased employment and tax revenues (Storey, 1994). However, entrepreneurship is recognized as a complex phenomenon involving individuals, firms and the environment in which it occurs (Begley, 1995). Extant research also reveals a clear picture of a gender gap in venture creation and ownership activity. In almost all participating Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) countries, the structure by gender reveals that men are more entrepreneurially active than women. In Slovenia, females account for only 24 per cent of entrepreneurs (Rebernik et al., 2013). Pursuing either an entrepreneurial or employed occupational career is determined by many factors, including biography (Müller, 2001), age (Mondragon-Velez, 2009), gender (Minniti and Nardone, 2007), education (Van der Sluis et al., 2008), personality (Müller and Gappisch, 2005) and motivations (Locke and Baum, 2007). The gender perspective is important given the limited understanding of the gendered influences of economic development that entrepreneurship activity undoubtedly has on society. A partial explanation for this phenomenon might be found in companies’ growth patterns. Therefore, the current chapter examines gender-mediated dimensions regarding the performance of Slovenian high-growth companies (that is, ‘gazelles’).

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