Table of Contents

Research Handbook on Gender and Innovation

Research Handbook on Gender and Innovation

Research Handbooks in Business and Management series

Edited by Gry A. Alsos, Ulla Hytti and Elisabet Ljunggren

Innovation is seen as one of the main engines of economic growth creating prosperous nations and enabling technological development within industries and sectors This Handbook contributes to the field of innovation by providing a wide range of studies from different analytical and methodological perspectives and from various regional and industry contexts in order to pave the way forward. The multidisciplinary contributors discuss topics such as gender and innovation in new and small businesses, and growth businesses; addressing innovation in different organizational contexts ranging from public sector health care to mining and forestry; researching gender in innovation policy.

Chapter 4: Three faces of innovation: institutions, gender and entrepreneurship in Latin America

Ruta Aidis

Subjects: business and management, diversity and management, gender and management, organisational innovation, organisation studies, innovation and technology, knowledge management, organisational innovation


Women have been innovating alongside men, yet their innovations have largely remained overlooked or discounted, often because the innovation has been less disruptive or has focused on female-dominated activities such as services and household production. But historically, even when innovative activity by women has been disruptive, it has often gone unnoticed. This chapter takes a closer look at three highly successful innovative female entrepreneurs in Latin America. The chapter analyses the case of Leila Velez in Brazil, co-founder and CEO of Beleza Natural, an innovative beauty institute chain. It analyses the case of Maria Claudia Mendez in Bolivia, founder of Origenes Bolivia, which specializes in creating upmarket fashion and household accessories made from alpaca and other natural fibres. It also analyses the case of Carolina Guerra in Colombia, co-founder of Ingerecuperar, a hazardous waste treatment and recycling company. By exploring their business developments, the chapter uncovers some of the gendered impediments that exist for innovative women in the Latin American context. Some of the examples are universal, while others are clearly linked to the specificities of the Latin American environment.

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