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Amanda Bullough, Diana M. Hechavarr'a, Candida G. Brush and Linda F. Edelman

While women’s entrepreneurship is widely recognized as a source of economic and social development, there is a persistent storyline that women entrepreneurs do not perform as well as their male counterparts, and research examining performance and growth shows inconclusive results regarding gender differences in performance and the causes of them. This introduction chapter defines programs, policies, and practices, and explains why they matter for understanding and stimulating higher levels of growth among women’s businesses. This chapter provides an outline for the book that is organized about three key themes that emerged from the research produced by the collaborators in this book: the practice of building networks, programs and the support environment, and policies and regulations. These three themes comprise the elements of our new framework for policies, programs and practices for high-growth women’s entrepreneurship.

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Amanda Bullough, Diana M. Hechavarr'a, Candida G. Brush and Linda F. Edelman

This chapter supports the notion that an integrated and sustained approach is needed on a global scale. Stakeholder involvement and cultural change that positively influences entrepreneurial ecosystems will support the programs, policies and practices that promote diversity and inclusion. In doing so, a summary of the book is followed by practical recommendations that are based on the findings from the research conducted herein. These recommendations follow the structure of our framework used in this book for policies, programs and practices that support high-growth women’s entrepreneurship.