25 January 2022 | Münster
Armed with this expansive literature review, our WeRin research team, led by the FH Münster University of Applied Sciences with partners Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, University of Zagreb , Istanbul Technical University and Munster Technological University , explored within the context of entrepreneurial ecosystems and entrepreneurship education the impact of networks, role models, gender bias and stereotypes on the entrepreneurial behaviour and intentions of women.
Jun. Prof. Dr. Sue Rossano-Rivero and PhD(c) Iulia Stroila coordinated the research phase on the literature review report. Drawing on the scientific and policy literature published between 2006-2021, the WeRin team aimed to understand the current research on (women) entrepreneurship in higher education, gender inclusivity, and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems to present the most comprehensive insights into entrepreneurship education developments and entrepreneurial ecosystems that have a specific focus on gender inclusivity.
Prior research shows that the current research focuses mainly on the entrepreneurial activity of women and that research is "written by women for women" (Marlow, 2020). Moreover, the gender research is predominantly concentrated on women, suggesting that women have turned into a generic proxy for gender. Research also highlights the embedded masculinity within entrepreneurship research where men are perceived as normative actors within the entrepreneurial ecosystems. Future avenues should consider the perspective of male counterparts on the topic of gender inclusivity and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems, making them allies.
Women entrepreneurship and gender have been mostly contextualised as a "women's issue" since women have been the driving force behind equality and inclusivity. This view has contributed to the perception that only women are the primary beneficiaries of a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem. Men also benefit from inclusivity since they also constantly experience rigid gender norms. It is essential to engage more men in standing for inclusivity and understand how gender inclusivity in entrepreneurship in higher education and entrepreneurial ecosystems. In this way, inclusivity can be achieved only through the equal participation of men and women.
Our research provides a vital first step towards understanding the current research on (women's) entrepreneurship in higher education, gender inclusivity, and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems. We conducted a literature review on these subtopics, including scientific articles and grey literature, between 2006-2021 to identify trends within the inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem research and generate a research agenda that calls for further research in this critical field.