Gender Differences in Human Capital
Previous research has shown that the proportion of female entrepreneurs is low compared to male entrepreneurs (Delmar & Davidsson, 2000; Reynolds, Carter, Gartner, & Greene, 2004; Arenius & Minniti, 2005; Bosma, & Harding, 2007). – This post is about Gender Differences in human capital.
Moreover, women-owned business ventures have a lower propensity than men-owned ventures to grow and be successful (Welter, et al. 2003).
A prominent explanation for such gender differences is that compared to male entrepreneurs female entrepreneurs lack critical human and financial resources to start and run a business successfully (e.g., Lerner, Brush, & Hisrich, 1997).
Researchers have addressed gender differences in entrepreneurship with respect to venture creation, growth aspirations (Cliff, 1998), innovation (Strohmeyer & Tonoyan, 2005), and new venture performance in terms of survival (Kalleberg, & Leicht, 1991), growth (e.g., Alsos, Isakson, & Ljunggren, 2006; Coleman, 2007; Kalleberg, & Leicht, 1991) and profitability (Coleman, 2007; Watson, 2002).
A prominent explanation for gender differences in entrepreneurial performance is that women have fewer resources as compared to male entrepreneurs and, therefore, lack important prerequisites to achieve success (e.g., Lerner, Brush, & Hisrich, 1997).
This resource gap may be a result of different role expectations and associated career paths that influence human as well as financial capital.
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However, such differences in the professional careers of men and women due to role expectations may largely depend on the cultural context and, subsequently, on the participation of men and women in the work force in general.
As a consequence, gender differences in human capital and entrepreneurial success may not exist universally, but depend on the cultural context.
See also: Impact of Gender on Human Performance
In addition, social role expectations may have a crucial impact as to how men- and women-led businesses benefit from their founders human capital.
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