Reference Work Entry

Handbook of the Philosophical Foundations of Business Ethics

pp 1155-1176

Gender Issues in Entrepreneurship

  • Denise KleinrichertAffiliated withManagement/Ethics, San Francisco State University, College of Business Email author 


The importance of women’s entrepreneurial work and its socioeconomic context has ethical import as a theoretical concern. The entrepreneurial endeavor of women involves gendered ethical issues of equality, access, and capability for women seeking to develop private enterprise in many marketplaces. The practice of entrepreneurship marks a segregation of work roles for individuals, but more so for women, due to gender identity in the market and a lack of available market, economic, and political networks. Further, gendered market and business identity estrangement induces a crucial challenge – social segregation based on both gender and socially constructed entrepreneurial roles. The role of women as entrepreneurs is examined in this chapter from a multifaceted economic class and social construction of gender framework. Moreover, women’s agency and access to opportunities to develop business and market capabilities have theoretical underpinnings in ethical and economic concepts. Further, this chapter will explore a brief analysis of the ethical implications of the dialectic in gender relations pervasive in the economic and political power of women entrepreneurs.


Agency theory Capability theory Economic development Entrepreneurship Ethics Gender Globalization Identity Market access Microcredit Social segregation Women Women’s agency