To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Gender, entrepreneurship and motivational factors in an Irish context

Anne Laure Humbert (Department of Economics and Statistics and, Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research, Middlesex University Business School, London, UK)
Eileen Drew (Department of Statistics, School of Computer Science and Statistics and Centre for Gender and Women's Studies, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland)

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship

ISSN: 1756-6266

Article publication date: 29 June 2010




The purpose of this paper is to explore and critically analyse the relationship between gender and entrepreneurial motivations theories in an Irish context. The paper examines potential differences in motivational factors for entering entrepreneurship between men and women, with a particular emphasis on the distinction between push and pull factors, but also with respect to other social factors such as being a parent, marital status or age.


The paper draws upon data obtained from a national survey of 832 entrepreneurs undertaken in Ireland in 2003/2004. This survey is based on a sample of 3,498 Irish entrepreneurs, which was predominantly constructed using the Kompass Directory 2001 and the majority of the city and county enterprise boards throughout Ireland. The analysis relies on ordinal logistic modelling to examine the impact of gender and other social factors on entrepreneurial motivations.


The paper shows that there is a strong gender effect on some motivational factors, but that gender itself needs to be examined along with other social factors in order to understand differences in motivations. In particular, marital status, being a parent and/or age, as well as their interaction with gender, are useful in explaining differences in pathways into entrepreneurship for men and women.


Motivations and gender have been widely debated in the international literature on entrepreneurship, but relatively little is known about gender and entrepreneurship in an Irish context. This paper seeks to address this gap. The results will be useful to other researchers in the field of gender and entrepreneurship, as well as practitioners and business support agencies.



Laure Humbert, A. and Drew, E. (2010), "Gender, entrepreneurship and motivational factors in an Irish context", International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 2 No. 2, pp. 173-196.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited