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Are Business Incubators’ Ecosystems Inclusive of Women Entrepreneurs?

Go-to-Market Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs

ISBN: 978-1-78973-290-0, eISBN: 978-1-78973-289-4

Publication date: 6 September 2019


Institutional support at local, state, and national levels, including the services offered by business incubators, impacts women entrepreneurs’ venture creation and success. Yet, our understanding about the influence of an incubator’s attributes on women entrepreneurship remains limited. In this chapter, we develop a framework to analyze how incubator attributes encourage women’s entrepreneurship in the USA. We begin by discussing how homophily and signaling theories can help us understand whether incubators are using inclusive practices. Then, we draw a sample of 30 Impact Award winners from the International Business Incubation Association (InBIA), a global association of incubators, and we use three sources of data for our analysis and conclusions: incubator features and demographics, mission statements, and media coverage from Nexis Uni. Based on our findings, we find low levels of gender inclusive practices among the most impactful business incubators. We conclude by offering suggested practices to make business incubators more inclusive of women entrepreneurs.



Amezcua, A.S., Pandey, S. and Simarasl, N. (2019), "Are Business Incubators’ Ecosystems Inclusive of Women Entrepreneurs?", Crittenden, V.L. (Ed.) Go-to-Market Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 57-66.



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