Entrepreneurial ecosystem conditions and gendered national-level entrepreneurial activity: a 14-year panel study of GEM

  • Diana M. Hechavarría
  • Amy E. Ingram


Scholars note the importance of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in promoting new venture activity. Yet to date, limited focus has been given to its impact on female venturing. Accordingly, our study investigates if the entrepreneurial ecosystem influences the prevalence of male and female entrepreneurship over time. We analyze the effect of entrepreneurial ecosystems in 75 countries between 2001 and 2014 on the rates of entrepreneurship for men and women using aggregate data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Adult Population Survey and National Expert Survey. Findings indicate that the prevalence in entrepreneurship is highest for women when the entrepreneurial ecosystem features low barriers to entry, supportive government policy towards entrepreneurship, minimal commercial and legal infrastructure, and a normative culture that supports entrepreneurship. Conversely, we find that prevalence rates for men are highest when there is supportive government policy but weak government programs aimed towards business creation.


Entrepreneurial ecosystems Global entrepreneurship monitor Female early-stage entrepreneurship Male early-stage entrepreneurship 

JEL codes

L26—Entrepreneurship B22—Macroeconomics B54—Feminist economics JL16—Economics of gender 



We would like to especially thank Friederike Welter and two anonymous reviewers for their feedback and time while reviewing prior versions of our paper. We would also like to thank special issue editors Tatiana Manolova, Linda Edelman, Candida Brush, and Alicia Robb. We would also like to thank Paul Reynolds for advice provided during empirical analysis of the GEM APS and NES datasets. Finally, we also would like to thank Patricia Nickinson for her feedback on prior versions of this paper. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 2015 DIANA International Research Conference in Babson, MA, where it was first-runner up for Best Empirical Paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Entrepreneurship, Muma College of BusinessUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  2. 2.College of Business and Behavioral SciencesClemson UniversityClemsonUSA

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