Entrepreneurship and Context
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Entrepreneurship and Context

Friederike Welter

This book identifies Friederike Welter’s key contribution to entrepreneurship research over recent decades, and shows how her work is contextualised in time and place. The book gives a differentiated understanding of entrepreneurship and contexts, celebrating diversity as well as complexity.
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Chapter 8: Gender, context and entrepreneurial learning

Kerstin Ettl and Friederike Welter


Purpose - The purpose of the paper is to offer an insight into gender, context and entrepreneurial earning of women entrepreneurs in Germany. Design/methodology/approach - The paper explores entrepreneurial learning of women entrepreneurs both conceptually and empirically. Section 1 introduces a conceptual framework, which allows analysing entrepreneurial learning both from an individual gender-specific and from acontext-based perspective. Empirically, the paper explores how women entrepreneurs acquire the (business-related) knowledge to start and grow an enterprise and the impact of regional, sector, family and social as well as macro environments in this regard. Findings are based on 31 in-depths interviews with women entrepreneurs and 23 interviews with key experts. Findings - It is found that the meso environment is more of an indirect influence; the macro and micro environments are strong influences on lives and decisions of women entrepreneurs, especially on their opportunity recognition. The business environment has both a direct and indirect influence. Practical implications - The results demonstrate an ongoing need for a contemporary image of women’s entrepreneurship inGermany.Themajor challenge for policy-makers and support organizations therefore lies in propagating diverse entrepreneurial images and in incorporating the diversity of women’s entrepreneurship and their specific learning approaches into policies and support offers. Originality/value - The paper contributes a different and so far neglected perspective on entrepreneurial learning and opportunity recognition, drawing attention to the contextual influences and the embedding of cognitive processes.

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