The aim of this paper is twofold. First, it intends to analyze the influence of human capital and social capital on the second of the stages in the process of entrepreneurial creation established by Shane and Venkataraman, the discovery of opportunities for creating a business. Second, it aims to analyze the existence of gender differences both in the discovery of opportunities and in the stock of human and social capital possessed by men and women.
The authors use data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Spanish Project. From a random sample of 28,888 individuals, which is representative of the whole of the Spanish population between the ages of 18 and 64, the opinion of 1,473 active entrepreneurs has been gained. Also, logistic regressions were used as a statistical method to test the hypotheses proposed.
The results indicate that individuals possessing a greater stock of human capital, as well as those who are highly involved in broad social networks, discover more chances of business creation. Similarly, this work shows that men discover more business opportunities and possess more human and social capital than women.
The results obtained allow the authors to make a contribution to the literature about the influence that human and social capital exerts on the discovery of entrepreneurial opportunities. Regarding gender, the main contribution of the work is that gender differences exist both in the discovery of opportunities and in the stocks of human and social capital possessed by individuals. The main limitation of the paper is the difficulty of directly measuring variables used and thus the need to use “proxy” variables.
The results of the paper can help politicians and educators to enhance endeavours to increase attention to human and social factors and gender differences, in order to develop the second of the stages in the process of entrepreneurial creation, the discovery of opportunities for creating a business.
In line with the findings and research implications, the paper provides additional proofs of why gender differences exist with regard to the entrepreneurial process, in part related to differences in human and social capital. However, other factors apart from the different stocks of human and social capital could explain this phenomenon, so a new line of research is necessary.
Gonzalez‐Alvarez, N. and Solis‐Rodriguez, V. (2011), "Discovery of entrepreneurial opportunities: a gender perspective", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 111 No. 5, pp. 755-775. https://doi.org/10.1108/02635571111137296Download as .RIS
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