Academic interest in women entrepreneurship has grown considerably in the past decade and researchers are approaching it from various contexts and disciplines. In light of this increased interest, the narrative landscape on gender and rural entrepreneurship is nascent. Current women’s entrepreneurship literature lacks a gender-integrated focus and evades structural issues regarding labor markets, resource distribution, and the intersectional dimensions of gender inequality. In addition, rural challenges such as geographic isolation, limited resources and infrastructure, less accessible services, and lower socioeconomic status have an acute impact on women across multiple levels. Obstacles such as access to capital, resources, and skill development also exacerbate the field. Despite this, there is a steady rise in rural female-led entrepreneurship and therefore, a growing need for a gender-integrated approach to research. This session offers a gendered critique of rural entrepreneurship, including new insights and considerations.
Casandra Bryant, University of Guelph, Canada
Afrina Choudhury, WorldFish and Wageningen University, NL
Casandra Bryant, University of Guelph
A gendered critique of rural entrepreneurship: A transformative approach
Women’s entrepreneurship literature lacks a gender-integrated focus and evades structural issues regarding labor markets, resource distribution, and the intersectional dimensions of gender inequality. Rural challenges such as geographic isolation, and limited resources and infrastructure have an acute impact on women across multiple levels. Obstacles such as access to capital, resources, and education exacerbate the field. Despite this, there is a rise in rural female-led entrepreneurship and therefore, a growing need for a gender-integrated approach to research. The concept of women’s entrepreneurship and female social entrepreneurship will be introduced and contextually defined including a proposed typology. This paper introduces two conceptual frameworks that highlight a transformative gender-integrated contribution with a research focus on Bangladesh and the Scottish Highlands & Islands.
Charlene Lambert, Women Entrepreneurship Platform
To what extent can women farmers and rural women entrepreneurs contribute to the success of the European Green Deal?
When we examine the Green Deal policies women’s involvement is fundamentally inadequate. Women are on the bottom rung with education and training in digital technologies; 24 of every 1000 female graduates have an ICT connected subject, and of these, 6 out of 1,000 graduates go on to work in related fields. Likewise, access to finance, and support programs are not reaching innovative women, where only 2% of all initial funding reaches women-led start-ups. While entrepreneurs are recognized as a key source of new, innovative projects, women represent approximately 33% of all entrepreneurs in the EU. Women entrepreneurs are increasingly recognized as a huge untapped resource (EU Commission Study 2014), bringing new perspectives and solutions.
Sally Shortall, University of Newcastle, UK
Women entrepreneurs in farm businesses
This paper considers women entrepreneurs in the highlands of Scotland and England. It notes the variety of types of entrepreneurs, and the importance of understanding women’s motivations for developing businesses of a particular scale. The usual model is one that is not necessarily suited to the objectives of women, and evidence presented here shows that this can make it more difficult to access appropriate levels of finance and business support. The research found that women do not identify with the language of ‘entrepreneurs’ or ‘innovators’, so funding labelled as such will be unlikely to reach women. The English research found that women entrepreneurs are much more likely to pursue regenerative farming practices. Recognising the role of women on farms will be imperative to achieving the Green Deal objectives.