The Propensity of Male vs. Female Students To Take Courses and Degree Concentrations in Entrepreneurship

As of 2004, only 33% of the self-employed in Canada were women, and Industry Canada (2002) reports that in 2000, only 15% of lead entrepreneurs were women. However, as of 2002, approximately equal numbers of men and women were enrolled in Faculties of Business across Canada. Bird and Brush (2002) suggest that education plays a major role in explaining the disparity in venturing rates between women and men. One of the two studies reported in this paper (Study A) investigated the number of women vs. men enrolled in entrepreneurship courses across Canada and found that in almost all instances men greatly outnumber women in undergraduate and, more particularly so, in graduate courses. Study B investigated at one university whether women choose to take a business concentration in entrepreneurship as frequently as male students and found that mostly male students concentrate in entrepreneurship. There was a significant difference between women and men in one reason for not taking an entrepreneurship concentration: women were more likely to say that entrepreneurship did not fit their personality. There was no difference between men and women regarding their attitude to risk-taking aspects of entrepreneurship, which contradicts some previous research. The two studies reported in this paper have implications for entrepreneurship education, and for the training of female management students.

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