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Values and female entrepreneurship

Katherine Terrell (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA)
Michael Troilo (Collins College of Business, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA)

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship

ISSN: 1756-6266

Article publication date: 28 September 2010




The purpose of this paper is to research the extent to which different types of values influence a woman's decision to become an entrepreneur.


The paper constructs a two‐stage model to capture the entrepreneurial decision. In the first stage, life values affect the decision to enter the workforce. In the second stage, work values impact the type of employment sought: entrepreneur vs employee.


It is found that women whose life value is that “men should have scarce jobs before women” are less likely to participate in the labor force and hence less likely to become an entrepreneur; work values of initiative, achievement, and respect are positively correlated with entrepreneurship.

Research limitations/implications

The definition of entrepreneurship is limited to those who are self‐employed.

Practical implications

The findings have important policy implications. If policy makers wish to spur the rate of entrepreneurship among women to make it approach or reach the same rate as men's, raising young women's awareness that they need not hold themselves secondary to men in the job market and instilling in them work values of achievement, initiative, and respect are important.

Social implications

If policymakers address values that impede women's economic participation, they have the potential to assist both women's social status as well as their economic well‐being.


The contribution and originality of the work is the synthesis of labor economics and entrepreneurship scholarship in the two‐stage model of how values influence a woman's decision to become an entrepreneur.



Terrell, K. and Troilo, M. (2010), "Values and female entrepreneurship", International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 260-286.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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