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Catherine Elliott and Barbara Orser

Building on identity and feminist theory, this chapter examines the association among feminist values, feminist entrepreneurial identity (FEI) and decision-making. Empirical observations were based on 15 semi-structured interviews and an interpretive analysis was conducted. Several themes emerged: FEI was expressed through decision-making about resource acquisition (alliances and networking with like-minded partners) and market positioning (feminist branding). Feminist entrepreneurs reported making strategic compromises to reconcile business objectives and feminist values. A conceptual model to highlight the study findings is then presented. This chapter offers insights into the gendered nature of the venture creation process, and specifically the association among FEI and founder decision-making. The work further refines an emerging praxis: entrepreneurial feminism (Orser and Elliott, 2015). In so doing, the research extends the understanding of how female entrepreneurs negotiate meaning and express feminist values through entrepreneurial decision-making and action.

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Colette Henry, Barbara Orser, Susan Coleman, Lene Foss and Friederike Welter

Public policy is a key element within the entrepreneurial ecosystem in that policy has the potential to shape venture creation behavior and entrepreneurial outcomes. In response to studies documenting a gender gap in entrepreneurial activity, government attention to women’s entrepreneurship has increased in the past two decades. Nevertheless, there are few cross-cultural studies to inform policy development. This 13-nation study draws on gender and institutional theory to report on the status of female-focused SME/entrepreneurship policies and to ask: How — and to what extent — do women’s entrepreneurship policies differ among countries? A common methodological approach is used to identify gaps in the policy-practice nexus, highlighting countries where policy is weak but practice is strong and vice versa. Recommendations for future research are advanced.