Female Entrepreneurs, Digital Tools, and Work-Life Balance: Evidence from Small Businesses around the World

33 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2023 Last revised: 22 Dec 2023

See all articles by Elizabeth Lyons

Elizabeth Lyons

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Laurina Zhang

Boston University - Questrom School of Business

Date Written: December 20, 2023

Abstract

Using a cross-section of 23,033 small businesses across 42 countries, we provide one of the first empirical investigations of digital technology use among male and female entrepreneurs. We show that there is a digital gender gap but it is not uniform across digital tools; female entrepreneurs use digital tools that support interactions with external stakeholders (i.e., advertising) to the same extent as male entrepreneurs but are less likely to use digital tools for internal firm management activities (e.g., finance), likely due to gender disparity in digital skills. We also find that female founders who face higher levels of non-work related demands, particularly those that start firms in countries without institutional support for work-life conflicts, have a higher intensity of digital tool use.

Keywords: Female Entrepreneurship, Digital Technology Adoption, Work-Life Balance

JEL Classification: J16, J22, L26

Suggested Citation

Lyons, Elizabeth and Zhang, Laurina, Female Entrepreneurs, Digital Tools, and Work-Life Balance: Evidence from Small Businesses around the World (December 20, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4536460 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4536460

Elizabeth Lyons

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code 0502
La Jolla, CA 92093-0112
United States

Laurina Zhang (Contact Author)

Boston University - Questrom School of Business ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02215
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.bu.edu/questrom/profile/laurina-zhang/

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