Gender, Risk and Venture Creation Intentions

35 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2012

See all articles by Christopher J. Dawson

Christopher J. Dawson

Swansea University

Andrew Henley

Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University; IZA Institute of Labor Economics


This paper is concerned with whether women are less likely to express business start-up intentions because of a less favourable attitude to risk. Previous research suggests that attitude to risk differs significantly between genders, but has not addressed the question of whether this contributes to lower levels of female interest in venture creation. This paper describes a conceptual basis for this question, and investigates it using a survey of business start-up intention from across a sample of European universities. A large proportion of the difference in average levels of intention between genders appears to be associated with attitude to risk.

Keywords: entrepreneurship intentions, attitude to risk, gender difference

JEL Classification: D84, J13, M13

Suggested Citation

Dawson, Christopher J. and Henley, Andrew, Gender, Risk and Venture Creation Intentions. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6947, Available at SSRN: or

Christopher J. Dawson (Contact Author)

Swansea University ( email )

Singleton Park
Swansea, SA2 8PP
United Kingdom

Andrew Henley

Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University ( email )

Aberconway Building
Colum Drive
Cardiff, CF10 3EU
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

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