Foundations and Trends® in Entrepreneurship > Vol 5 > Issue 7–8

Gender Issues in Entrepreneurship

By Maria Minniti, Department of Strategy, Entrepreneurship & Business Economics, Cox School of Business, Southern Methodist University, USA,

Suggested Citation
Maria Minniti (2009), "Gender Issues in Entrepreneurship", Foundations and Trends® in Entrepreneurship: Vol. 5: No. 7–8, pp 497-621.

Publication Date: 09 Dec 2009
© 2009 M. Minniti
Gender and ethnicity
Gender economicsLabor marketFemale entrepreneurshipEntrepreneurshipLabor economicsGender studies

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In this article:
1 Introduction 
2 History of the Field 
3 What is the Empirical Evidence on Female Entrepreneurship? 
4 Female Entrepreneurship and Aggregate Economic Activity 
5 Determinants of Entrepreneurial Behavior at the Individual Level I: Objectively Measurable Variables 
6 Determinants of Entrepreneurial Behavior at the Individual Level II: Perceptions and Subjective Variables 
7 Determinants of Entrepreneurial Behavior at the Individual Level III: The Social Environment 
8 Female Entrepreneurship and the Family 
9 The Gender Gap in Self-employment Earnings 
10 Women's Ventures 
11 Female Entrepreneurship and Financing 
12 Where Do We Go Next 
Author's Biography 
A Appendix 


Entrepreneurship is a human universal. All over the world, and throughout history, people have created businesses. Yet, although women make up more than 50 percent of the world population, they own and manage significantly fewer businesses than men. Venture types and management styles vary across genders as well. Women entrepreneurship presents several distinctive characteristics that differentiate it from men entrepreneurship. But variations exist also across women entrepreneurs in various countries, and between women who are involved in entrepreneurship and those who are not. Overall, the explanation for the behavior of women entrepreneurs and its distinctiveness is complex and multifaceted. Evidence to date suggests that reasons contributing to explaining these differences include demographic and socio-economic variables, subjective perceptions, and cultural factors and institutions, and that such differences have significant implications at the macro-economic level. Studying female entrepreneurship allows researchers to ask questions that shed light on the linkages between entrepreneurship and wealth creation, employment choices and cognition, human capital accumulation and labor market structure, employment choice and family dynamics, business creation and peace, and many others. From a scientific point of view, the study of female entrepreneurship as a distinct area of inquiry informs us not only about women behavior, but also about entrepreneurial and human behaviors in general. All over the world, female entrepreneurship has become an important component of academic and policy conversations around entrepreneurship. Still, there is much we don't yet understand. Taking stock of what has been learned so far, identifying the main gaps, and encourage scholars to push the frontier of knowledge in this area further are the goals of this work.

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Table of contents:
1. History of the field
2. What is the evidence on female entrepreneurship?
3. Female entrepreneurship and the economy
4. Determinants of entrepreneurial behavior I: Objectively measurable variables
5. Determinants of entrepreneurial behavior II: Perceptions and subjective variables
6. Determinants of entrepreneurial behavior III: The social environment
7. Female entrepreneurship and the family
8. The gender gap in self-employment earnings
9. Female owned businesses
10. Female entrepreneurship and financing
11. Where do we go next?

Gender Issues in Entrepreneurship

Gender Issues in Entrepreneurship reviews the growing literature on female entrepreneurship and women-owned businesses across various disciplines (economics, psychology, sociology, anthropology, etc.) to show that observed differences in the rate of new business creation across genders rest not only on cultural and socio-economic conditions but also on the fact that women and men tend to have different perceptions of their business environments. Gender Issues in Entrepreneurship considers the macroeconomic implications of female entrepreneurship and reviews issues related to the division of labor within families and their implications for the employment decisions of women. This monograph also reviews gender differences in management styles, financing, and networking. Finally, Gender Issues in Entrepreneurship identifies gaps in the literature and suggests areas where further research is needed. Gender Issues in Entrepreneurship the paper provides a well-round starting point for people interested in learning the scope and depth of the field as well as for people who want to deepen their knowledge of any specific topic within the field.