Entrepreneurship ecosystems and women entrepreneurs: a social capital and network approach

  • Xaver NeumeyerEmail author
  • Susana C. Santos
  • António Caetano
  • Pamela Kalbfleisch


This study investigates the effects of venture typology, race, ethnicity, and past venture experience on the social capital distribution of women entrepreneurs in entrepreneurial ecosystems. Social network data from two municipal ecosystems in Florida, USA (Gainesville and Jacksonville), suggest that network connectivity and the distribution of social capital are significantly different for men and women entrepreneurs. This difference is contingent on the venture type. Male entrepreneurs show higher comparative scores of bridging social capital in aggressive- and managed-growth venture networks, while women entrepreneurs surpass their male counterparts’ bridging capital scores in lifestyle and survival venture networks. Lastly, experienced women entrepreneurs that self-identified as white showed a higher degree of network connectivity and bridging social capital in the entrepreneurial ecosystem than less experienced non-white female entrepreneurs. Implications for entrepreneurship practice and new research paths are discussed.


Women entrepreneurs Entrepreneurial ecosystems Social capital Boundary conditions of social capital Network analysis 

JEL classification

L26 L25 



The authors thank Jamie Kraft and Dr. Michael Morris at the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center at the University of Florida for helpful feedback on earlier versions of this manuscript and access to stakeholders in the municipal entrepreneurship ecosystems that we selected for our study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Xaver Neumeyer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Susana C. Santos
    • 2
    • 3
  • António Caetano
    • 3
    • 4
  • Pamela Kalbfleisch
    • 5
  1. 1.University of North Carolina at WilmingtonWilmingtonUSA
  2. 2.Rowan UniversityGlassboroUSA
  3. 3.Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), Business Research Unit (BRU-IUL)LisbonPortugal
  4. 4.Applied Psychology Research Center Capabilities & Inclusion (APPsy)LisbonPortugal
  5. 5.University of North DakotaGrand ForksUSA

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