English title: Women non-traditional entrepreneurs and social capital

Author(s): Natalie Sappleton -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2009


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to consider the relationship between “entrepreneurial segregation” – self-employment in a gender typical or atypical sector – and social capital. Design/methodology/approach – This paper is based on analysis of data from the 2006 wave of the European Social Survey (ESS). A sample of 2,214 male and female business owners is extracted from the dataset. The sample comprises four sub-samples – females in female-dominated industries (n=283); females in male-dominated industries (337); males in male-dominated industries (n=1,476) and males in female-dominated industries (n=118). Regression analysis is used to determine the impact of business owners' gender and the sector of their firm upon their levels of social capital. Findings – Women who operate firms in traditionally female sectors are found to have the highest levels of social capital. In stark contrast, those individuals – men and women – working in traditionally male sectors exhibit lower levels of social capital, measured in terms of trust, community engagement and social networks. Furthermore, self-employment in a gender traditional or non-traditional sector is found to be a significant predictor of social capital. Originality/value – This paper adds to the literature on female entrepreneurship in general but also contributes to the embryonic body of work that is concerned with segregation in self-employment. To date, very little research has been conducted on women in atypical enterprises, or on the nature of their activities. This paper is a preliminary step towards filling this academic gap. No prior study has assessed the social capital men and women entrepreneurs operating traditional and non-traditional enterprises.

Volume: 1

Issue: 3

From page no: 192

To page no: 218

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1108/17566260910990892

Journal: International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship

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