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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 13: Centering Caribbean women’s gendered experiences and identities: a comparative analysis of female entrepreneurs in St Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago

Talia Esnard

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, gender and management


Changes in the global economy continue to change the face of entrepreneurship throughout the world. One critical development is the increasing access to and participation of women in entrepreneurial activities (Kelley et al., 2010). However, while this growing development translates into encouraging labor market trends, the persistence of gender inequality in access to entrepreneurial opportunities and the peripheral positioning of their experiences remain burning issues for policymakers, feminist advocates, researchers and, most importantly, women in the economy. In that regard, many studies have substantiated the centrality of gender and related normative assumptions underpinning the masculine nature of entrepreneurship to the experiences of female entrepreneurs (Ahl, 2006; Marlow et al., 2009). Such analyses have indeed made a significant contribution to the increasing visibility of female entrepreneurs in developed societies and to the broader ideologies and corresponding structural and cultural frameworks that underlie their experiences. However, what remains is the indiscernibility of Caribbean research that seeks to widen our understanding of the ways in which female entrepreneurs experience and negotiate gendered discourses and conflicts in the formation of their identities.

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