A Gender Integrative Conceptualization of Entrepreneurship
New England Journal of Entrepreneurship, Volume 18, Number 1
15 Pages Posted: 30 May 2016
Date Written: 2015
Guided by feminist perspectives, we critique existing approaches to the study of women’s entrepreneurship on epistemological grounds and suggest that the entrepreneurship field needs to recognize gendered assumptions in theorizing. Deploying a feminist framework, we suggest that understanding the ‘gender gap’ in entrepreneurship requires focus on institutional and structural barriers women entrepreneurs face. Existing studies of women entrepreneurs often compare women with men without considering how gender and gender relations impact the very concepts and ideas of entrepreneurship. We propose, therefore, a conceptualization of entrepreneurship that illuminates gender bias and calls attention to the interrelated individual, institutional, and structural barriers in the entrepreneurial process that arrive out of societal and cultural gender norms. Through praxis or engaged practice, we redirect scholarship in the entrepreneurship field, while proposing ways that can promote gender equality in entrepreneurial activities. In all, our gender integrative conceptualization of entrepreneurship contributes to the entrepreneurship field by recognizing and addressing a more expansive realm of influential factors within the entrepreneurial ecosystem that have previously been researched separately.
Keywords: women entrepreneurs, gender, feminist, ecosystem
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