Frontiers in European Entrepreneurship Research
Edited by Luca Iandoli, Hans Landström and Mario Raffa
Chapter 7: A Gender Analysis of the Supply of, and Demand for, New Venture Finance in Ireland
7. A gender analysis of the supply of, and demand for, new venture ﬁnance in Ireland Siri Terjesen and Colm O’Gorman INTRODUCTION The domain of entrepreneurship includes the ‘study of how, by whom, and with what eﬀects opportunities to create future goods and services are discovered, evaluated and exploited’ (Shane and Venkataraman, 2000, p. 218). Following this reasoning, a key aspect of entrepreneurship scholarship includes the study of the set of individuals who pursue and fund new venture opportunities, including females. Many countries are not realizing their full entrepreneurial potential due to the lack of participation by females in new business activities. For example, in a 41 country study, females were found to comprise only 36 per cent of all entrepreneurs (Reynolds et al., 2004). A low level of female entrepreneurial activity may impact negatively on a nation’s economic growth and development. In countries such as the US, there is evidence that the 10.6 million female-owned companies employing 19.1 million people and generating $2.5 trillion in sales play a major role in the growth of economy (Center for Women’s Business Research, 2005). Despite this economic contribution, the participation of females in entrepreneurship has been neglected in academic studies (Baker et al., 1997). Entrepreneurship theory suggests that to participate in new venture activity, nascent entrepreneurs need access to resources and, in particular, ﬁnancial capital (Wetzel, 1981; Mason and Harrison, 1999). However, new ventures face signiﬁcant ‘liabilities of newness’ that make them unattractive investment opportunities for providers of ﬁnance (Aldrich...