SOTA Review

How Does Gender Shape Entrepreneurial Resources and Practice?.

ERC SOTA review No 35

Associated Themes
  • Diversity
  • Entrepreneurship

Women are much less likely to found businesses than men and even less likely to lead growth businesses (ONS, 2019; Rose Review, 2018). Given that the educational attainment of girls surpasses that of boys and women’s economic activity is approaching that of men’s, the scale of this gender gap is startling. As entrepreneurship relies on combining resources to create goods and services for profitable trade (Kitching and Rouse, 2016), this review explores gendered differences in the ownership and command of resources. It focuses on the entrepreneur resources mostly commonly researched: human capital (‘know how’ emergent from education and experience), financial capital (money) and social capital (relationships through which new resources are acquired). It also points to a gap in research concerning how gender shapes ‘labour capital’ (an entrepreneurs’ ability to apply their own or other’s labour to business creation and ownership). Women’s unequal access to resources and the constraints this places on their entrepreneurial activity suggests there is a significant failure in enterprise policies.