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Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Research

Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Research

Diverse Settings, Questions and Approaches

Edited by Karen D. Hughes and Jennifer E. Jennings

Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Research responds to recent calls from academic researchers and policy analysts alike to pay greater attention to the diversity and heterogeneity among women entrepreneurs. Drawing together studies by 26 researchers affiliated with the DIANA International Research Network, this collection contributes to a richer and more robust understanding of the field.

Chapter 7: Are Women More Likely to Pursue Social and Environmental Entrepreneurship?

Diana M. Hechavarria, Amy Ingram, Rachida Justo and Siri Terjesen

Subjects: business and management, diversity and management, entrepreneurship, gender and management


Diana M. Hechavarria, Amy Ingram, Rachida Justo and Siri Terjesen INTRODUCTION Little is known about whether social entrepreneurship and ecopreneurship are ‘gendered’ similar to the mainstream concept of entrepreneurship (Bruni et al., 2004a). This omission is surprising given that females seem to be key targets (Pestoff, 2000; Phillips, 2005; Zahra et al., 2009) and agents (Braun, 2010; McKya et al., 2010) of the social entrepreneurship and ecopreneurship strategies promoted around the globe. Moreover, scholars have recently claimed that adopting a feminist analytical lens can help reframe the current conceptualization of entrepreneurship from a mere economic activity to a more complex phenomenon and catalyst for social change (Calás et al., 2009). De Bruin et al. (2007) call for female entrepreneurship research that incorporates a theoretical approach which emphasizes the role of personal ambitions, and normative and societal environments. This study seeks to fill these gaps by taking into account gender role theory and hegemonic masculinity to investigate the extent to which the social and environmental goals and practices of entrepreneurs are gendered. To do so, we use a 52-country dataset drawn from the 2009 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM). We begin by describing how female entrepreneurs enact the common discourse that depicts entrepreneurship as embodying attributes of masculinity and economic rationality (Ahl, 2002; Bird and Brush, 2002; Mirchandani, 1999), what Bruni et al. (2004b) commonly describe under the concept of hegemonic masculinity. Because female entrepreneurs tend to deviate from mainstream entrepreneurship, we hypothesize that they will be less likely than male...

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