Gender differences in entrepreneurship: Equality, diversity and inclusion in times of global crisis

Ayala Malach Pines, Miri Lerner, Dafna Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose – In 2008, the world had undergone a global economic crisis. Since women always face greater difficulties in obtaining capital than men, the economic crisis had a greater effect on them. The purpose of this paper is to examine the implications of the global crisis for women's entrepreneurship, from the perspective of equality, diversity and inclusion. Design/methodology/approach – The paper reviews studies on gender differences in entrepreneurship, focusing on 2007 and 2008 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) studies that examined the rates of entrepreneurship in 43 countries. Findings – The data show that in all 43 countries, the rates of women's entrepreneurship are lower than men's. Furthermore, the percent of women entrepreneurs is higher in countries where the general income per capita is small and where women have no other option for making a living. Research limitations/implications – This surprising finding has been explained as a result of the difference between “necessity” and “opportunity” entrepreneurship, with necessity entrepreneurship found to be more prevalent among women in poor countries, thus pointing to the role played by inequality and exclusion in women's entrepreneurial inferiority. Practical implications – From the perspective of diversity, equality and inclusion, entrepreneurship can be viewed as a means for inclusion of women and other marginalized groups in countries, especially lowincome countries, in which they suffer from lack of equal opportunities and social exclusion. Originality/value – The paper usefully shows how, especially in times of a global crisis, the role played by inequality and exclusion in women's entrepreneurial inferiority has important implications; such as the need to create special funds for women and the importance of establishing social and business networks for women entrepreneurs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-198
Number of pages13
JournalEquality, Diversity and Inclusion
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 12 Feb 2010

Keywords

  • Entrepreneurialism
  • Equal opportunities
  • Gender
  • Women
  • World economy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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