Women Entrepreneurs and the Myth of ‘Underperformance’
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Women Entrepreneurs and the Myth of ‘Underperformance’

A New Look at Women’s Entrepreneurship Research

Edited by Shumaila Yousafzai, Alain Fayolle, Adam Lindgreen, Colette Henry, Saadat Saeed and Shandana Sheikh

Taking a fresh look at how performance is defined by examining the institutional power structures and policies, eminent scholars herein explore ways to overcome constrained performance and encourage women’s entrepreneurial activities through a variety of methodological approaches and geographical contexts.
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Chapter 9: Exploring alternative gendered social structures within entrepreneurship education: notes from a women’s-only enterprise programme in the United Kingdom

Monique Boddington and Shima Barakat


Monique Boddington and Shima Barakat study the gendered entrepreneurship discourse by challenging the stereotypical characterizations relating to the underperformance of women entrepreneurs within an education setting. Highlighting the impact of women-only business education programmes on women’s entrepreneurship in the UK, the authors explore the effect of business education programmes that are tailored to women on women’s self-efficacy and start-up initiatives. They evaluate the impact of a learning intervention (business education tailored to the needs of women in science and engineering) through a women’s entrepreneurial programme (EnterpriseWISE) aimed at postdoctoral researchers and PhD researchers at the University of Cambridge, UK. Adopting a qualitative stance, they explore the change facilitated by EnterpriseWISE in increasing women’s entrepreneurial self-efficacy and encouraging them to consider entrepreneurship as a viable career choice. Presenting an alternative gendered order of entrepreneurial practice in education, their findings suggest that programmes for women, such as EnterpriseWISE, create a safe working environment that offers them a reflexive space, provides alternative role models, and encourages women to take action towards pursuing an entrepreneurial career.

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