Edited by Ayala Malach-Pines and Mustafa F. Özbilgin
Gilat Kaplan and Ayala Malach-Pines Introduction Interest in women entrepreneurship has been growing fast in recent years (for example, Pines, 2002; Bruni et al., 2004; Boyd, 2005; Brush et al., 2006a, 2006b; de Bruin et al., 2006, 2007; Pines and Schwartz, 2008). Studies identified motivations propelling women to start new businesses and obstacles they face (for example, Belcourt, 1990; Hisrich and Oeztuerk, 1999; Bennett and Dann, 2000). While research interest and the number of women entrepreneurs have accelerated rapidly (Weiler and Bernasek, 2001), the level of women’s entrepreneurship is still significantly lower than that of men (Langowitz and Minniti, 2007). A Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) study that examined entrepreneurship rates in 34 countries showed in all these countries lower rates of entrepreneurship for women than for men (Minniti et al., 2004). Results of a large-scale study in 17 countries showed that subjective perceptual variables have a crucial influence on the entrepreneurial propensity of women, and account for much of the difference in entrepreneurial activity between the sexes. They showed that women tend to perceive themselves and their entrepreneurial environment less favorably than men, regardless of their motivation (Langowitz and Minniti, 2007). Three recent studies on gender differences in entrepreneurship focused on gender differences in subjective perceptions regarding entrepreneurship (Pines and Schwartz, 2008). The first study involved a national telephone survey of attitudes toward entrepreneurship. The second involved management students who responded to a questionnaire. The third involved interviews with small business owners. Results of the first two studies showed few...
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