Women’s Entrepreneurship & Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Canada

This report examines Canadian women’s entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial ecosystems (EE), using data from the 2019 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Canada survey. The value of an “ecosystem” approach is increasingly recognized by researchers, practitioners, and policymakers. It marks an important shift in thinking about entrepreneurship. Traditionally, entrepreneurship has been conceptualized as a largely “individual” endeavor, with an emphasis on the traits and characteristics needed for success. Clearly, individual entrepreneurs have a pivotal role to play in the success and growth of their businesses, but so too do the contexts and “ecosystems” of which they are a part (Welter, 2019).

Building on recent studies of women’s entrepreneurship and ecosystems in Canada (Orser et al., 2019; Cukier and Chavoushi, 2020; Hughes and Yang, 2020), the purpose of this report is to deepen our understanding of the gendered nature of entrepreneurial ecosystems in Canada using a gender-aware approach (Brush et al. 2009). The report focuses on two distinct ecosystems for which GEM Canada gathered data in 2019: Alberta and Nova Scotia. Using the methodological approach developed by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), it analyzes the 10 pillars that make up the “entrepreneurship ecosystem” (Stam, 2015). These include: networking (Pillar 1), leadership (Pillar 2), financing (Pillar 3), talent (Pillar 4), knowledge (Pillar 5), support services and infrastructure (Pillar 6), formal institutions (Pillar 7), culture (Pillar 8), physical infrastructure (Pillar 9), and demand for goods and services (Pillar 10).

How to cite

Hughes, K. D. & Saunders, C. (2020). Women’s entrepreneurship & entrepreneurial ecosystems in Canada. Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, The Centre for Innovation Studies, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. https://wekh.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Womens_Entrepreneurship_and_Entrepreneurial_Ecosystems_in_Canada.pdf 

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