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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 11: Heterogeneity of spousal support for French women entrepreneurs

Stephanie Chasserio, Typhaine Lebègue and Corinne Poroli

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, gender and management


Research today recognizes that, in order to understand the entrepreneurial process, the entrepreneur must be considered from a situated and dynamic perspective that takes into account the interactions between the various dimensions and multiple roles of their life (Brush et al., 2009; Danes et al., 2009; Dimov, 2007; Oughton and Wheelock, 2003). Family context plays a key role in the creation and development of an enterprise (Aldrich and Cliff, 2003; Eddleston and Powell, 2012; Jennings and McDougald, 2007; Jennings et al., 2013; Kirrane and Buckley, 2004; Powell and Eddleston, 2013). The broader approach to entrepreneurship, presented in the work on family businesses (Aldrich and Cliff, 2003), is also found in the research work devoted to women entrepreneurs which highlights the limits of traditional theoretical models of entrepreneurship (Ahl, 2006; Brush et al., 2009; Jennings and McDougald, 2007; Jennings and Brush, 2013). Hence, Jennings and Brush (2013, p. 689) ask, ‘To what extent are consultations with family members, more generally, factored into opportunity evaluation and exploitation decisions?’ Support from a spouse or companion is clearly identified in research as a key factor for success (Sexton and Kent, 1981; Hisrich and Brush, 1983; Nelson, 1989). However, the issue of the gender dynamic within the couple is rarely mentioned, if at all. Moreover, male spousal/companion-based support (SCS) of women entrepreneurs (WE) remains a relatively unexplored field (Van Auken and Werbel, 2006).

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