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Through the gender looking-glass: Brazilian tourism entrepreneurs

Carlos Costa (Department of Economics, Management, Industrial Engineering and Tourism, University of Aveiro , Aveiro, Portugal)
Zelia Breda (Department of Economics, Management, Industrial Engineering and Tourism, University of Aveiro , Aveiro, Portugal)
Fiona Eva Bakas (Department of Economics, Management, Industrial Engineering and Tourism, University of Aveiro , Aveiro, Portugal)
Marilia Durão (Department of Economics, Management, Industrial Engineering and Tourism, University of Aveiro , Aveiro, Portugal)
Isabel Pinho (Department of Economics, Management, Industrial Engineering and Tourism, University of Aveiro , Aveiro, Portugal)

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship

ISSN: 1756-6266

Article publication date: 12 September 2016

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the ways in which gender influences entrepreneurial motivations and barriers in the Brazilian tourism sector. As an economic process, tourism entrepreneurship is widely spread in Brazil, with tourism development programs promoting it as a strategy to empower women, however limited research exists on how gender roles influence entrepreneurial ideals. This nationwide study aims to provide a contemporary insight into how tourism entrepreneurs in Brazil are situated within current entrepreneurship theorizing by questioning the complexity caused as gender roles influence entrepreneurial conceptualizations of what constitute motivations and barriers.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses online questionnaires aimed, for the first time, at a large variety of tourism sub-sectors in Brazil. Having nation-wide scope, the questionnaires produce knowledge on what motivates and what constrains Brazilian tourism entrepreneurs through a gender lens. Quantitative analysis using SPSS statistical software tests the statistical significance of results and is complemented by the integration of feminist economic theories into the analytical framework.

Findings

The current study’s findings highlight the invisibility of gender’s workings, as the majority of participants did not conceive gender as playing a role in their entrepreneurial experience. Entrepreneurial motivations and barriers show a departure from past literature, such as the fact that similar numbers of male and female tourism entrepreneurs perceive networking as a significant entrepreneurial barrier. This and other interesting findings prompt for alternative conceptualizations of discourses surrounding women’s involvement in tourism entrepreneurship.

Originality/value

This study consists of an original contribution to knowledge on tourism entrepreneurship in Brazil as this is the first time an empirical study has been made on a nation-wide scale regarding the role of gender in Brazilian tourism entrepreneurs’ motivations and constraints.

Keywords

Citation

Costa, C., Breda, Z., Bakas, F.E., Durão, M. and Pinho, I. (2016), "Through the gender looking-glass: Brazilian tourism entrepreneurs", International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 282-306. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJGE-07-2015-0023

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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