Pursuing entrepreneurial opportunities is not a choice: the interplay between gender norms, contextual embeddedness, and (in)equality mechanisms in entrepreneurial contexts

Saskia Stoker, Sue Rossano-Rivero, Sarah Davis, Ingrid Wakkee, Iulia Stroila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: All entrepreneurs interact simultaneously with multiple entrepreneurial contexts throughout their entrepreneurial journey. This conceptual paper has two central aims: (1) it synthesises the current literature on gender and entrepreneurship, and (2) it increases our understanding of how gender norms, contextual embeddedness and (in)equality mechanisms interact within contexts. Illustrative contexts that are discussed include entrepreneurship education, business networks and finance. Design/methodology/approach: This conceptual paper draws upon extant literature to develop its proposed conceptual framework. It provides suggestions for systemic policy interventions as well as pointing to promising paths for future research. Findings: A literature-generated conceptual framework is developed to explain and address the systemic barriers faced by opportunity-driven women as they engage in entrepreneurial contexts. This conceptual framework visualises the interplay between gender norms, contextual embeddedness and inequality mechanisms to explain systemic disparities. An extra dimension is integrated in the framework to account for the power of agency within women and with others, whereby agency, either individually or collectively, may disrupt and subvert the current interplay with inequality mechanisms. Originality/value: This work advances understanding of the underrepresentation of women entrepreneurs. The paper offers a conceptual framework that provides policymakers with a useful tool to understand how to intervene and increase contextual embeddedness for all entrepreneurs. Additionally, this paper suggests moving beyond “fixing” women entrepreneurs and points towards disrupting systemic disparities to accomplish this contextual embeddedness for all entrepreneurs. By doing so, this research adds to academic knowledge on the construction and reconstruction of gender in the field of entrepreneurship.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

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