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The gendering of entrepreneurship context


  • Welter, Friederike
  • Brush, Candida
  • De Bruin, Anne


The paper builds on the understanding of context as suggested by Welter (2011) who introduced different dimensions of context along a continuum of where entrepreneurship takes place and when this happens. Where context has been studied in relation to gender and women, the focus has been on the influence of social contexts such as networks, family and household embeddedness of women entrepreneurs or the institutional environment for women's entrepreneurship. We contribute to the literature by identifying three further themes, based on a systematic literature review: how to conceptualise the spatial and institutional contexts for women's entrepreneurship and their intersections, as informed by entrepreneurship, gender and geography studies; the paradox of empowering women and the debate around mumpreneurship. Our analysis highlights the influence of spatial-institutional contexts on entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurial behaviour is gendered because of place which itself is gendered, reflecting local institutions such as accepted gender norms which may force women into specific industries or business sizes. We also highlight the agency of women entrepreneurs in influencing their spatial-institutional contexts.

Suggested Citation

  • Welter, Friederike & Brush, Candida & De Bruin, Anne, 2014. "The gendering of entrepreneurship context," Working Papers 01/14, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifmwps:0114

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mabsout, Ramzi & van Staveren, Irene, 2010. "Disentangling Bargaining Power from Individual and Household Level to Institutions: Evidence on Women's Position in Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 783-796, May.
    2. Saul Estrin & Tomasz Mickiewicz, 2011. "Institutions and female entrepreneurship," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 397-415, November.
    3. Amanda Elam & Siri Terjesen, 2010. "Gendered Institutions and Cross-National Patterns of Business Creation for Men and Women," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 22(3), pages 331-348, July.
    4. Powell, Gary N. & Eddleston, Kimberly A., 2013. "Linking family-to-business enrichment and support to entrepreneurial success: Do female and male entrepreneurs experience different outcomes?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 261-280.
    5. Nada Kobeissi, 2010. "Gender factors and female entrepreneurship: International evidence and policy implications," Journal of International Entrepreneurship, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 1-35, March.
    6. Ghani, Ejaz & Kerr, William R. & O'Connell, Stephen D., 2013. "Female business ownership and informal sector persistence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6612, The World Bank.
    7. Baumol, William J., 1996. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, unproductive, and destructive," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 3-22, January.
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    9. Stefan Bach & Johannes Geyer & Peter Haan & Katharina Wrohlich, 2011. "Reform des Ehegattensplittings: nur eine reine Individualbesteuerung erhöht die Erwerbsanreize deutlich," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 78(41), pages 13-19.
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    11. Aimée Hampel-Milagrosa, 2010. "Identifying and Addressing Gender Issues in Doing Business," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 22(3), pages 349-362, July.
    12. Fischer, Eileen M. & Reuber, A. Rebecca & Dyke, Lorraine S., 1993. "A theoretical overview and extension of research on sex, gender, and entrepreneurship," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 151-168, March.
    13. Karen Stuyck & Sarah Luyten & Chris Kesteloot & Henk Meert & Katleen Peleman, 2008. "A Geography of Gender Relations: Role Patterns in the Context of Different Regional Industrial Development," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(1), pages 69-82.
    14. Tony J. Watson, 2013. "Entrepreneurship in action: bringing together the individual, organizational and institutional dimensions of entrepreneurial action," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(5-6), pages 404-422, June.
    15. Cliff, Jennifer E., 1998. "Does one size fit all? exploring the relationship between attitudes towards growth, gender, and business size," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 523-542, November.
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    More about this item


    entrepreneurship; women's entrepreneurship; gender; entrepreneurship context;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups

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