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A gender-specific view on entrepreneurial recovery – effects on and responses of micro-entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany

Judith Terstriep (Institute for Work and Technology, Westphalian University of Applied Sciences, Gelsenkirchen, Germany)
Susann Schäfer (Department of Economic Geography, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Jena, Germany)
Alexandra David (Institute for Work and Technology, Westphalian University of Applied Sciences, Gelsenkirchen, Germany)
Markus Rieger-Fels (IfM Bonn, Bonn, Germany)
Armando García Schmidt (Sustainable Social Market Economies, Bertelsmann Foundation, Guetersloh, Germany)
Rosemarie Kay (IfM Bonn, Bonn, Germany, and)
Theresa Rosenberger (Institute for Work and Technology, Westphalian University of Applied Sciences, Gelsenkirchen, Germany)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Article publication date: 31 May 2024

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Abstract

Purpose

Given the adversity of the COVID-19 pandemic, there remains an incomplete understanding of the gender disparities in the affectedness and recovery of micro-entrepreneurs from the crisis. Consequently, this paper aims to scrutinise gender disparities in the initial repercussions of the crisis and throughout the recovery phase.

Design/methodology/approach

Acknowledging the interconnectedness of micro-entrepreneurs’ professional and private spheres, the study adopts a mixed-methods approach combining a representative quantitative study with qualitative data from 36 semi-structured interviews with self-employed individuals in Germany amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

Findings

The findings indicate a gender gap in the impact and recovery trajectory, particularly affecting female entrepreneurs in caregiving roles beyond immediate financial repercussions. These disparities did not result in more pronounced business measures for recovery but rather involved more experimentation and prosocial behaviours, with a preference for alternatives to state aid, such as personal reserves and social networks.

Originality/value

Unveiling the dual influence of economic and social factors as essential for female entrepreneurs’ recovery from the crisis adds to the literature by providing a comprehensive understanding of gender-specifics.

Keywords

Citation

Terstriep, J., Schäfer, S., David, A., Rieger-Fels, M., García Schmidt, A., Kay, R. and Rosenberger, T. (2024), "A gender-specific view on entrepreneurial recovery – effects on and responses of micro-entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany", Gender in Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/GM-08-2023-0300

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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