Scientific Publication

Women entrepreneurs in and from developing countries: Evidences from the literature


Entrepreneurship has a leading role in economic development worldwide and, although it has usually been considered as a male dominated activity, recent studies emphasize how significant the contribution of women today is: in 2010, almost 42% of entrepreneurs in the world were, indeed, women (GEM, 2010).

The role of the gender factor emerged in the academic literature on entrepreneurship in the late 1970s. Over the years, attention has been mainly devoted to the analysis of women entrepreneurs’ characteristics in developed countries. Only recently have both the role of female entrepreneurship in emerging economies and the relevance of immigrant female entrepreneurs in developed countries appeared in international journals. Due to the relevance of these two issues for economic development and the still existing gap in the systematization of both theoretical and empirical findings, the authors of this work aim to fill this gap with a systematic literature review based on rigorous criteria.