Entrepreneurship and Gender

A Survey of Scientific Literature

Wissenschaftlicher Aufsatz, 2011

18 Seiten, Note: 1,0



Based on the appraisal by Brush et al. this paper is to display how the topic “entrepreneurship and gender” is addressed in specialized press. For that purpose a literature review of the top 10 entrepreneurship journals from 2007 to 2011, including a keyword search was applied. The articles could be divided into six key aspects. It became apparent that the 5 M framework, introduced by Brush et al. could not gain any importance in entrepreneurship research. Therefore a new classification of the articles became necessary. Furthermore a strong divergence between public and research discussion was detected. It can be concluded that a new way of thinking with regard to methodology has to take place in research. Also a better reconcilement between politics and research would be reasonable. Only title and abstract of the particular articles were reviewed and the given period was limited to five years.

1 Introduction

The topics connected with women in economy, respectively Entrepreneurship and gender are broadly discussed in politics and research. Especially in Germany the implementation of a women’s quota in several economic branches is often argued in recent discussion (Schmollack 2011). Women-lead businesses are one of the fastest growing fields in economy worldwide. Furthermore the number of female entrepreneurs and, in connection with that, their importance for management and society is increasing all along (C. G. Brush u. a. 2009).

Already 2009 a study by Candida G. Brush et al. titled “A gender-aware framework for women’s entrepreneurship” was published, which conducted a limited analysis about the display of women’s entrepreneurship in specialized literature between 1996 and 2006. Back then, the authors declared that there is neither a clear focus nor a notable certain direction in present research. Following up Brush’s study, this paper will analyze the depiction of the topic women’s entrepreneurship in the top 10 Entrepreneurship journals worldwide. Furthermore it will identify the key aspects mentioned in these journals. In connection with that, the following questions are about to be answered: To what extent are appropriate magazines dealing with the topic “entrepreneurship and gender”? Which key aspects with regards to content can be identified and what remarkable studies are to be found within them? An all-embracing overview on this topic does not exist right now, while this paper attempts to bridge just that gap. Using a broader database, the sight towards this subject is to be enlarged.

Based on these statements the theoretical groundwork for this paper will be introduced by describing the 5 M framework, developed by Brush et al. The classification of the analyzed articles applied by the authors of “A gender-aware framework for women’s entrepreneurship” will be pictured as well. The next step would be to envisage the methodology for the literature review conducted in this paper. The results of this review are presented in the following. In the final chapter the practical and theoretical implications as well as the conclusions of the study are given.

2 Theoretical background

Referring to the current state of research, three indispensable success factors for entrepreneurs can be identified. These are combined in the so called 3 M framework. The three constitutional elements are named “market” (Schumpeter 1934), “money” (Penrose 1959), (Bruno & Tyebjee 1982) and “management” (Aldrich & Ruef 2006). Brush et al. already used that approach as basis for the development of their 5 M framework (see figure 1). In the 3 M framework “market” is the central institution for any entrepreneur. The term “opportunity” in brackets illustrates that “market” has to be understood in the way that a certain potential has to exist within the market that holds the opportunity for an entrepreneur ready to be successful. So the market has to provide the possibility for entrepreneurial action. Furthermore access to “money” and “management” has to be assured. Only those entrepreneurs, who are able to serve themselves with money and management expertise, have the chance to be successful, because these factors are implicitly needed. So “money” and “management” can be seen as access factors as to “market” (C. G. Brush u. a. 2009). In the framework the three factors are displayed as ellipses, which have intersections. This is to illustrate the importance for an entrepreneur to cover every single one of these three aspects. Otherwise entrepreneurial success is unlikely.

Even if this framework, according to Bates (Bates u. a. 2007), provides a view on the topic “entrepreneurship” that goes beyond the mainstream perspective, it stayed in need of furthermore development to advance the understanding of “women’s entrepreneurship”. Therefore an appropriate view on women as entrepreneurs could not be provided with only 3 M’s. In fact men and women and their conditions would differ much more, than could be depicted in the 3 M framework (C. G. Brush u. a. 2009).

Hence two auxiliary M’s were added - in particular “motherhood” and “meso/macro environment”. “Motherhood” describes a woman’s personal requirements and her distinctive features. On one hand it includes issues that only respectively preferential women have to deal with, for example having a baby or, in connection with that, to apply childcare. On the other hand studies have shown that the family background and the circumstances in the particular household might have larger impact on women than men (Jennings & McDougald 2007). Thus it had to be recognized, that differences in entrepreneurial performance between women- and men-lead companies could be better explained with the help of household phenomena. Obvious reasons like personal attributes of the entrepreneur itself or something near it in contrast were not seen to be appropriate (Dimova u. a. 2006). Furthermore “motherhood” has a distinct impact on women’s accession to resources, so it affects the three traditional M’s “market”, “money” and “management”. Thus “motherhood” represents the personal background of a woman and accommodates the unique circumstances of women in comparison to their male counterparts.

The fifth and final M is called “meso/macro environment”. Even if it contains two separate items, they are combined under one single M. In general “meso/macro environment” describes social and cultural norms and perceptions. It also points out the medial display of these aspects. “Macro environment” deals with national policy, laws, cultural and economic influences and political strategies concerning women’s entrepreneurship. However “meso environment” rather describes regional given factors and support programmes (Dopfer u. a. o. J.), (Pitelis 2005). The importance of business networks and opportunity for business partnerships are addressed by this M as well.

This M is so crucial, because the attitude of society towards women’s entrepreneurship becomes obvious here. This will in turn have certain impact on women’s self-perception and in conjunction with that on their entrepreneurial initiative. Furthermore political determining factors according to the access towards the three basic M’s assume a significant role. So it is obvious that entrepreneurial success can be determined by the meso/macro environment, too.

Looking at the 5 M framework now, “motherhood” is situated in the center of the intersections of the three original M’s. This position was not chosen by chance. “Motherhood” is placed in the middle of the framework, because it contains the very basic characteristics of women’s personality and her personal history. These will influence all other factors in the framework or at least their apperception by a woman. In fact “motherhood” can be seen as the cornerstone of the 5 M framework, which affects all other aspects. “Macro/meso environment” on the other hand creates the bolster for the whole framework. It covers external influences, which the entrepreneur normally has no ascendancy on.

The 5 M’s introduced provide the groundwork for the classification of the articles, that Brush et al. found during their research. An additional differentiation was applied regarding “gender as a variable” and “gender as a lens”. Thus it has been investigated, if in the articles the topic gender was used in the way of only listing differences between men and women or implicitly asking for coherencies and reasons for these differences.

The 5 M framework, in comparison to the 3 M model, now affords a much more profound insight into the topic of women’s entrepreneurship. Furthermore it enables researchers and policy makers to identify differences between men and women. This would have been impossible by only using 3 M’s. But not only can these disparities be recognized easier - they, which seems to be quite more important, can also be explained. The main aim and demand of Brush and her framework was to advocate a holistic grasp for the field “entrepreneurship and gender” in politics, economy and society. The 5 M framework was meant to be the corner stone for a wider and more dedicated view on that topic. To examine how the mentioned 5 M’s are discussed, respectively addressed in literature, Brush et al. accomplished their described literature review in the following.

Based on the findings of Brush et al., this paper aims to comprehend to what extend the 5 M framework was implemented into literature and more importantly, if there has been some development with reference to the detection of the topic “women’s entrepreneurship” in literature. For that matter the methodology of this paper will be introduced in the following. The database will be addressed as well.

3 Methodology

The basis for this literature review was a ranking of the TOP 10 Entrepreneurship journals by the “Verband der Hochschullehrer für Betriebswirtschaft e.V.” (VHB) from July 2010. It included the following journals: “Research Policy”, “Journal of Business Venturing”, “Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice”, “Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice”, “Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal”, “Small Business Economics”, “Entrepreneurship and regional development”, “Journal of Enterprising Culture”, “Journal of International Entrepreneurship” and the “Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship”. These ten magazines are forming a broader database than the one applied by Brush et al. For that matter the view towards the topic “entrepreneurship and gender” is amplified in comparison to Brush et al. who only analyzed two journals in their paper. The benefit of this larger database is illustrated by the fact that only one journal from the ranking’s TOP 5 contains more than five articles relevant for the review. “Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice” and the “Journal of Business Venturing” in contrast contained thirteen articles combined within the period under consideration. The “Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship” on its own kept 14 articles at hand. Because of the very heterogeneous number of articles contained in the different magazines the need for a broader database becomes obvious.

Using a database analysis altogether 57 relevant articles could be extracted between 2007 and 2011. The search items applied were “women”, “gender” and “female”. In the following the data was analyzed as to how often the above mentioned keywords were used and to what degree the particular journals refer to the investigated topic. After the analysis of the articles it became transparent, that a classification whilst using the 5 M framework would not be appropriate. None of the identified articles referred to the framework. Terms like for example “money” or “market” were of course mentioned in either title or abstract, but they never had any connection to the paper Brush et al. published. In fact this made a new classification to seem very useful. During the research the articles could be divided into key aspects with regards to content. They are named „innovation and research“, „access to resources in the sense of the 5 M Framework“, „gender discrimination“, „management behavior“, „women’s quota“ and „success factors“. Significantly most covered were “management behavior” (23 articles), „access to resources in the sense of the 5 M framework“ (16 articles) and „success factors“ (9 articles). The residual aspects turned out to be much less relevant, featuring only five, respectively two articles (see figure 2).

4 Results and Discussion

To what degree the journals of entrepreneurship dealt with the topic “entrepreneurship and gender” is very different. There were journals within the ranking of the TOP 10 journals for entrepreneurship that did not deal with that issue at all. For example no article could be found within the “Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal”. On the other hand the “Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship” alone published 14 articles in the same time spread. Altogether the three keywords used, could be found 72 times in title and/or abstract of the articles. The terms “women” and “gender” occurred within 28 articles each. The keyword “gender” could be identified 16 times (see figure 3).

Looking at the three main topics “management behavior”, “access to resources in the sense of the 5 M framework” and “success factors” now, furthermore sup-topics can be identified. The aspect “management behavior” mirrors four different points. One of them is the influence of gender on the decision to form an enterprise. Furthermore it contains articles considering what role gender is playing for innovation or for strategic decisions. The fourth aspect within “management behavior” covered disparities in career planning between men and women. In the field of women taking entrepreneurial action the articles examine several influencing factors (Langowitz & Minniti 2007), (Wagner 2006) as well as the role of gender stereotypes (Gupta u. a. 2009) referring to the decision of women to become an entrepreneur. Gupta et al.’s article “The role of Gender Stereotypes in Perceptions of Entrepreneurship and Intentions to become an Entrepreneur” from 2009 (Gupta u. a. 2009) addresses issues, which already were appealed on in the article of Brush et al. who already stated, that this is a problem first and foremost women have to deal with. Other articles researched if either more men or women attempt to become an entrepreneur and if men or women lead companies have a longer endurance (Minniti & Nardone 2007), (Zwan u. a. 2011).

In the field of gender and innovation the stress of research is laid on women’s attendance to make investments. It was found, that women tend to invest together with others and form investor groups instead of investing on their own. Another aspect within that area is the readiness of female entrepreneurs to take up borrowed capital (Becker Blease & Sohl 2011), (Sena u. a. 2010). The article „Gender borrowing patterns and self-employment; some evidence for England“ by Sena et al. from 2010 points out, that women by nature are more cautious towards larger investments and major raising of capital. This article is interesting because is shows, that the lower sums of borrowed capital women take in comparison to men has not necessarily to be explained by female entrepreneurs having less access to financial resources, but can also be reasoned in women’s general attitude. The last sector of “management behavior” deals with strategic decisions. Articles determine if either men or women are more likely to make such decisions and by what factors they can be influenced (Songini & Gnan 2009), (Yordanova & Tarrazon 2010), (Mueller & Dato-On 2008), (Orser u. a. 2010). Another study dealt with the effect of a company’s CEO’s gender on the market orientation of the firm (Davis u. a. 2010). Other authors analyzed if men, respectively women would lay the stress of their entrepreneurial action on rather their own company or on the market (Knotts u. a. 2008). Gender specific differences referring to the selection of vendors can be identified as a sup topic, too (Martin & Simmerman 2008).

Studies applied amongst the point “career planning” deal with the attitude, the temporal effort and the way of opportunity consideration, which women display within entrepreneurship (Verheul u. a. 2009), (Zinger u. a. 2007), (Lassithiotaki 2011). Connected to that topic, more articles could be identified dealing with how human capital or networking can influence the growth expectations of men, respectively women (Manolova u. a. 2007). Finally the papers “Gender Entrepreneurial ladder, gender and regional development” (Zwan u. a. 2011) and “The role of gender identity in explaining sex differences in business owner’s career satisfier preferences” (Eddleston & Powell 2008) analyzed the influences of gender towards self- confidence, career planning and the main focus on the path of an entrepreneur. Side issues in the field “Management Behavior” are the familiarity with authority or the impact of gender on self-efficacy of entrepreneurial behavior of women (Redien-Collot 2009), (Wilson, Kickul, u. a. 2009).

Especially the article “Thinking and slacking or doing and feeling? Gender and the interplay of cognition and affect in new venture planning” (Armstrong 2011) stands out. It examines the difference in performance in the sense of management behavior between male and female entrepreneurs. This means disparities regarding to self-efficacy, which would be more significant with men, and the intensified focus on business planning processes, which would be more significant with women. But that does not mean, that women would be worse or less successful entrepreneurs in comparison to their male counterparts - much more women are successful in a different way within their entrepreneurial activity.

Within the topic “access to resources in the sense of the 5 M framework” it is obvious, that the two dominating subject areas are “capital” and “political support”. The topic “market” would only appear as a side issue.

Referring to “capital”, the studies first of all dealt with the access of women entrepreneurs to private equity capital (Becker-Blease & Sohl 2007). Furthermore the loan practices of banks were addressed. An interesting subitem in this field is brought up by the article “Microcredit: an answer to the gender problem in funding?” (Brana 2011). The author suggests to face the hindered access to financial resources by making microcredits more attractive for female entrepreneurs (Carter, Shaw, u. a. 2007), (Brana 2011), (Bertaux & Crable 2007). Also the access to venture capital is an often addressed topic (Harrison & Mason 2007), (Holmquist & Carter 2008), (Neeley & Van Auken 2010), (Amine & Staub 2009), (Lassithiotaki 2011).

The point “political support” examined the efficiency of political commitment in the field of entrepreneurship and women (J. H. Lee u. a. 2011) and to what degree the engagement really reached the addressees (Billore u. a. 2010). Furthermore ever one study portrayed a support program that alleviates women’s decision to found a company (Fairlie & Marion 2010) and one that is meant to display the success, that entrepreneurship-related courses may have on entrepreneurial success (Olomi & Sinyamule 2009).

Additional studies were applied in the field “market”. Some articles deal with the chances for market access of women (Mair & Marti 2009), (DeTienne & Chandler 2007) and their acceptance on the market (Iakovidou u. a. 2009). The paper “The Role of Gender in Opportunity Identification” (DeTienne & Chandler 2007) shows, that men and women seem to perceive market opportunities in a different way. This has a huge impact on the decision to become an entrepreneur. Brush et al. have already identified this to be an essential difference towards the entrepreneurial mindset of men and women.


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Entrepreneurship and Gender
A Survey of Scientific Literature
Ernst-Abbe-Hochschule Jena, ehem. Fachhochschule Jena
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Buch)
1090 KB
Entrepreneurship, Unternehmensgründung, Geschlecht, Frauen, Gender, Women, Brush, Journals
Arbeit zitieren
Bachelor of Arts M. Schlesier (Autor:in)M. Häßelbart (Autor:in)K. Achmedowa (Autor:in)T. van Doorn (Autor:in), 2011, Entrepreneurship and Gender, München, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/191642


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