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Gender differences in entrepreneurial attitudes

Sandra Ma Sánchez Cañizares (Faculty of Law and Business Administration, University of Córdoba, Córdoba, Spain)
Fernando J. Fuentes García (Faculty of Law and Business Administration, University of Córdoba, Córdoba, Spain)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

ISSN: 2040-7149

Article publication date: 5 November 2010



The main objective of this article is to analyse, in depth, the role of gender differences among potential entrepreneurs, their psycho‐sociological traits and the incentives and principal obstacles women encounter when initiating a business activity.


The approach adopted in this study focuses on university students as a fundamental source of potential future entrepreneurs. The fieldwork is based on a sample of 1,400 students at the University of Córdoba (Spain).


The results suggest that women are less prone to initiate entrepreneurial activity and that fear of failure is a major obstacle to setting up a company. Furthermore, gender attributes were correlated to a higher probability of embarking on a venture of this type in the future.

Practical implications

The Organization for Economic Co‐operation and Development (OECD) considers research in this area to be crucial for understanding the economic and social phenomenon of growing female entrepreneurship due to its enormous potential for innovation and job creation. Programmes to promote entrepreneurial activity must take into account differences between men and women in terms of their perceptions and entrepreneurial culture.


Research into the gender perspective of entrepreneurial intention is key to gaining deeper insight into the economic and social phenomenon of female entrepreneurship. This study focuses on education, namely the elements that influence the entrepreneurial attitudes and culture of young people and the differences in perception between women and men.



Sánchez Cañizares, S.M. and Fuentes García, F.J. (2010), "Gender differences in entrepreneurial attitudes", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 29 No. 8, pp. 766-786.



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