Diverse Settings, Questions and Approaches
Edited by Karen D. Hughes and Jennifer E. Jennings
Conclusion: Reflecting on the Diversity of Women’s Entrepreneurship Research
Karen D. Hughes and Jennifer E. Jennings Our goal in this book has been to illuminate the breadth and variety of women’s entrepreneurship research around the world. Exploring diverse settings, diverse questions and diverse approaches, the chapters in this volume help to build a more comprehensive picture of female enterprise, offering new insights that enrich the collective ‘tapestry’ (de Bruin et al., 2007) or ‘quilt’ (Campbell, 2005) that is being assembled by scholars across the globe. In this concluding chapter, we reflect upon the patterns and common threads evident not only within the diverse work included in this volume but also within that envisioned for the future. COMMON THREADS WITHIN THIS COLLECTION Without doubt one of the strongest cross-cutting themes to emerge from this volume concerns the important and ongoing task of developing a ‘contextualized’ body of knowledge – one that attends to the wide array of settings in which female entrepreneurs operate (Ahl, 2006; Brush et al., 2009, 2010). As the chapters in Part I demonstrate, national contexts play a particularly critical role in influencing women’s experiences and approaches to entrepreneurship – shaping their entrepreneurial identities and practices, their access to finance and networks, and their entrée into emerging sectors of the knowledge economy. Notably, a number of other chapters in this volume speak to this theme as well. For instance, both Klyver et al. (Chapter 9) and Fairclough (Chapter 5) highlight how national policy regimes may encourage, or discourage, women as nascent and active entrepreneurs. Industry settings, especially those...