Mother nature’s son?: The impact of gender socialization and culture on environmental venturing

Drawing on the multiplicity of context approach, this study investigates whether female entrepreneurs are more likely than male entrepreneurs to create environmentally oriented organizations. This study aims to examine how context, measured by gender socialization stereotypes and post-materialism, differentially affects the kinds of organizations entrepreneurs choose to create.

To test the hypotheses, this study utilizes Global Entrepreneurship Monitor data from 2009 (n = 17,364) for nascent entrepreneurs, baby businesses owners and established business owners in 47 counties. This study also utilizes the World Values Surveys to measure gender ideologies and post-materialist cultural values at the country level. To test the hypotheses, a logistic multi-level model is estimated to identify the drivers of environmental venturing. Data are nested by countries, and this allows random intercepts by countries with a variance components covariance structure.

Findings indicate that female entrepreneurs are more likely to engage in ecological venturing. Societies with high levels of post-materialist national values are significantly more likely to affect female entrepreneurs to engage in environmental ventures when compared to male entrepreneurs. Moreover, traditional gender socialization stereotypes decrease the probability of engaging in environmental entrepreneurship. Likewise, female entrepreneurs in societies with strong stereotypes regarding gender socialization will more likely engage in environmental entrepreneurship than male entrepreneurs.

Research limitations/implications
The present study uses a gender analysis approach to investigate empirical differences in environmental entrepreneurial activity based on biological sex. However, this research assumes that gender is the driver behind variations in ecopreneurship emphasis between the engagement of males and females in venturing activity. The findings suggest that female entrepreneurs pursuing ecological ventures are more strongly influenced by contextual factors, when compared to male entrepreneurs. Future research can build upon these findings by applying a more nuanced view of gender via constructivist approaches.

This study is one of the few to investigate ecologically oriented ventures with large-scale empirical data by utilizing a 47-country data set. As a result, it begins to open the black box of environmental entrepreneurship by investigating the role of gender, seeking to understand if men and women entrepreneurs equally engage in environmental venturing. And it responds to calls that request more research at the intersection of gender and context in terms of environmental entrepreneurship.


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