A theoretical overview and extension of research on sex, gender, and entrepreneurship

With the rising number of women-owned businesses has come a considerable amount of research, and even more speculation, on differences between male and female entrepreneurs and their businesses. To date, these findings and speculations have been largely atheoretical, and little progress has been made in understanding whether such differences are pervasive, let alone why they might exist. Thus public policy-makers have had little guidance on such difficult issues as whether or not unique training and support programs should be designed for women versus men. Moreover, lenders who finance new and growing firms have little to go on but their own “gut instinct” in assessing whether women’s and men’s businesses are likely to run in similar ways, or whether they might be run in different but equally effective ways.

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