Gender issues in knowledge-based entrepreneurship

Gender issues in knowledge-based entrepreneurship: Women as knowledge creators and entrepreneurs

Dear Colleague,

The Centre of Innovation and Entrepreneurship of Università Politecnica delle Marche is organising a workshop: Gender issues in knowledge-based entrepreneurship: Women as knowledge creators and entrepreneurs, 11-12 May 2015, Ancona, Italy.

We are pleased to invite you to attend the conference and submit an abstract for a special issue of the International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship. The aim of the conference is to provide a platform to the researchers to meet and share cutting-edge development in the field of women entrepreneurship.

It is becoming increasingly recognised that fostering female entrepreneurship may be one way to contribute to economic growth through new venture creation in knowledge-based sectors. The emergence of new ventures in knowledge-based sectors is central to economic adaptation and change and, according to the endogenous growth theory (Romer, 1986), favours the achievement of a long term economic development. These new ventures are important sources of market innovations (Audretsch, 1995), as they replace less efficient existing firms with more efficient ones (Bosma, Kelley, & Amoros, 2011), and of new job creation (Birch, 1987), as they represent a job alternative for people with high levels of formal education.

Analyzing new ventures scenarios of the last twenty years, a common result across countries is the underrepresentation of female entrepreneurs especially in new ventures in knowledge-based sectors (Arenius & Minniti, 2005) (Davidsson & Honig, 2003)(Delmar, Davidsson, & Gartner, 2003) (Reynolds, Carter, Gartner, & Greene, 2004) (Wagner, 2004). Despite the growing importance of female entrepreneurs, there is still a lack of research on the phenomenon of female entrepreneurship in general, and of female entrepreneurship in high tech sectors in particular (Fuentes-Fuentes, Cooper, & Bojica, 2012).

A diversity of economic agents in terms of motivation and opportunity recognition is essential for economic growth. The participation of females in entrepreneurial activities could favour this diversity. Moreover, the number of females who receive a high level of education in several industrialized countries is higher than males (Hausmann, Tyson, & Zahidi, 2012) and females use different processes of opportunity identification with respect to males (DeTienne & Chandler, 2007). Encouraging more women to become entrepreneurs may be a route to capitalising on that education to through the formation of new firms in knowledge-based sectors.

For this reason, understanding the complex interplay of factors that favour (prevent) women in (from) starting new firms is crucial. For many years the opinion has been that male activity predominates in entrepreneurship. However, over time, women are gradually becoming a very important part of the world of entrepreneurs. Today, women represent more than one third of all people involved in entrepreneurial activity. Even with all the obstacles faced when starting and managing their businesses, many women today are establishing their own businesses.

The special issue will focus on gender issues in entrepreneurship especially in knowledge-based firms. We encourage authors to submit micro- and macro-level studies that use quantitative and qualitative approaches.


  • Women entrepreneurship and economic growth
  • Women entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education
  • Women entrepreneurship and motivational factors
  • Women entrepreneurship in science (academic spin-offs)
  • Women entrepreneurship in knowledge-based sectors
  • Women entrepreneurship and risk aversion
  • Women entrepreneurship and financing sources of entrepreneurial ventures
  • Women entrepreneurship and performance of new businesses
  • Women entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial culture
  • Women entrepreneurship and social responsibility
  • Women entrepreneurship and policy
  • Women and alternative methods to entrepreneurship of adding value to knowledge creation e.g. patenting and consultancy

Notes for Authors

All papers will be refereed through a peer review process.

All papers must be submitted by sending email to

Important Dates

Submission of abstract: 31 March, 2015
Notification to authors: 25 April, 2015
Conference: 12-13 May, 2015

Workshop organisers

Donato Iacobucci, Università Politecnica delle Marche
Alessandra Micozzi, Università Politecnica delle Marche
Helen Lawton Smith, Birkbeck, University of London