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Edited by Helen Lawton Smith, Colette Henry, Henry Etzkowitz and Alexandra Poulovassilis

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Amanda Bullough, Diana M. Hechavarr'a, Candida G. Brush and Linda F. Edelman

While women’s entrepreneurship is widely recognized as a source of economic and social development, there is a persistent storyline that women entrepreneurs do not perform as well as their male counterparts, and research examining performance and growth shows inconclusive results regarding gender differences in performance and the causes of them. This introduction chapter defines programs, policies, and practices, and explains why they matter for understanding and stimulating higher levels of growth among women’s businesses. This chapter provides an outline for the book that is organized about three key themes that emerged from the research produced by the collaborators in this book: the practice of building networks, programs and the support environment, and policies and regulations. These three themes comprise the elements of our new framework for policies, programs and practices for high-growth women’s entrepreneurship.

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Amanda Bullough, Diana M. Hechavarr'a, Candida G. Brush and Linda F. Edelman

This chapter supports the notion that an integrated and sustained approach is needed on a global scale. Stakeholder involvement and cultural change that positively influences entrepreneurial ecosystems will support the programs, policies and practices that promote diversity and inclusion. In doing so, a summary of the book is followed by practical recommendations that are based on the findings from the research conducted herein. These recommendations follow the structure of our framework used in this book for policies, programs and practices that support high-growth women’s entrepreneurship.

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Edited by Alexander-Stamatios Antoniou, Cary Cooper and Caroline Gatrell

It is over half a century since the first sex discrimination laws were enacted. No doubt the women who fought during the 1960s and 1970s, for equality of pay and opportunity, would have imagined a fairer world than the one we find ourselves in today. There are certainly some areas where improvements have been made. More women make it to middle management levels, and many formal barriers preventing women from reaching the top levels in organizations have been removed. Yet as Chapter 10 (Burkinshaw and White) demonstrates, for those women who do make it to the highest levels within their occupations, fitting in with male-dominated cultures can be challenging. According to Chapter 12 (Antoniou and Aggelou) social and gender stereotypes still dictate the way female managers ought to behave and the ones who defy them often face multiple consequences. And as Gatrell and Peyton (Chapter 18) observe some mechanisms barring women from career advancement have remained firmly in place until the present decade.

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Edited by Lize A.E. Booysen, Regine Bendl and Judith K. Pringle

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Edited by Shumaila Yousafzai, Alain Fayolle, Adam Lindgreen, Colette Henry, Saadat Saeed and Shandana Sheikh

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Anne Kamau, Paul Kamau, Daniel Muia, Harun Baiya and Jane Ndung’u

Anne Kamau, Paul Kamau, Daniel Muia, Harun Baiya and Jane Ndung’u contribute to the discussion on the growth and business support of small-scale, informal women entrepreneurs by going beyond economic measures such as financial support. Drawing upon survey data from 398 small-scale women traders in Nairobi, Kenya, the authors outline the importance of investment in social protection for the business support and growth of women entrepreneurs, which may help to increase their business performance. In so doing, they challenge the notion of underperformance that is associated with women entrepreneurs, particularly those in the informal economy, and highlight the role of informal social networks that can provide social protection to women entrepreneurs in the informal sector, easing their financial, psychological and social burden.

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Grace Khoury, Wojdan Farraj and Suhail Sultan

Grace Khoury, Wojdan Farraj and Suhail Sultan explore the fact that female-owned home-based businesses (HBBs) are often characterized by underperformance, as many prefer to remain in the informal sector. In their study it is argued that few women attempt to formalize their HBBs due to the challenges associated with the legitimization process, leaving the majority preferring to endure constrained performance rather than to pursue the otherwise cumbersome alternative. The chapter’s aim is to investigate the challenges faced by female-owned HBBs in Palestine when seeking formalization and to highlight the initiatives provided by the various institutions to encourage these women to persist in their endeavours, and, possibly, to formalize. The findings demonstrate that the most challenging factors are of an institutional nature, both formal (weak institutions, tax policies and support services) and informal (socio-cultural constraints). Moreover, few successful initiatives were introduced by various institutions to encourage these women to formalize their HBBs.

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Monique Boddington and Shima Barakat

Monique Boddington and Shima Barakat study the gendered entrepreneurship discourse by challenging the stereotypical characterizations relating to the underperformance of women entrepreneurs within an education setting. Highlighting the impact of women-only business education programmes on women’s entrepreneurship in the UK, the authors explore the effect of business education programmes that are tailored to women on women’s self-efficacy and start-up initiatives. They evaluate the impact of a learning intervention (business education tailored to the needs of women in science and engineering) through a women’s entrepreneurial programme (EnterpriseWISE) aimed at postdoctoral researchers and PhD researchers at the University of Cambridge, UK. Adopting a qualitative stance, they explore the change facilitated by EnterpriseWISE in increasing women’s entrepreneurial self-efficacy and encouraging them to consider entrepreneurship as a viable career choice. Presenting an alternative gendered order of entrepreneurial practice in education, their findings suggest that programmes for women, such as EnterpriseWISE, create a safe working environment that offers them a reflexive space, provides alternative role models, and encourages women to take action towards pursuing an entrepreneurial career.