Title: How female entrepreneurs learn and acquire (business-relevant) knowledge

Authors: Kerstin Ettl, Friederike Welter

Addresses: School of Economic Disciplines, University of Siegen, Holderlinstr. 3, Siegen D-57076, Germany. ' Jonkoping International Business School, RUREG, P.O. Box 1026, Jonkoping, SE-551 11, Sweden

Abstract: There is still a gender gap in entrepreneurship, with only 30% of all business founders being women. One important question in this regard concerns how female entrepreneurs learn and acquire business-relevant knowledge. Individual learning processes are affected by individual sense making and cognitions, implying that amongst the other factors at the individual and environmental levels, gender is a factor influencing entrepreneurial learning. However, a gender perspective has been neglected in recent research on entrepreneurial learning and opportunity recognition. The paper concentrates on conceptually and empirically introducing this gender perspective. We explore the main influences on the entrepreneurial learning of female entrepreneurs and the determinants and triggers that impact female learning. Regarding the implications for entrepreneurship research, we hope to contribute to the understanding of what constitutes the specificities of female entrepreneurship in the frame of entrepreneurial learning and opportunity recognition.

Keywords: entrepreneurship; women entrepreneurship; female entrepreneurs; entrepreneurial learning; knowledge acquisition; opportunity recognition; opportunity evaluation; opportunity discovery; opportunity exploitation; success; small business; gender gap.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2010.033049

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2010 Vol.10 No.1, pp.65 - 82

Published online: 07 May 2010 *

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