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Unlocking Innovation in Women-Owned Firms: Strategies for Educating the Next Generation of Women Entrepreneurs


  • Susan Coleman

    (University of Hartford)

  • Alicia Robb

    (Kauffman Foundation)


In this article we report on the results of a survey of innovative practices in a sample of U.S. firms. Survey results reveal gender differences in the areas of both human and social capital. In the area of human capital, women were less likely to have advanced degrees or senior management experience. In the area of social capital, although a high percentage of women engaged in networking activities, there is some evidence that their networking strategies were less targeted than those of men. Consistent with prior research, women entrepreneurs had lower levels of “self-efficacy” or confidence in their ability to identify and develop innovative ideas. The implications of these findings for the education and training of women entrepreneurs are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Susan Coleman & Alicia Robb, 2012. "Unlocking Innovation in Women-Owned Firms: Strategies for Educating the Next Generation of Women Entrepreneurs," Journal of Women's Entrepreneurship and Education, Institute of Economic Sciences, issue 1-2, pages 99-125.
  • Handle: RePEc:ibg:jwejou:y:2012:i:1-2:p:99-125

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    More about this item


    Women; gender differences; human capital; education;

    JEL classification:

    • B54 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Feminist Economics
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


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