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Conditions for spin-off creation at Swiss universities of applied sciences – a gender sensitive approach

Noemi Schneider (School of Applied Psychology, University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland–Olten Campus, Olten, Switzerland)
Richard Blaese (School of Applied Psychology, University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland–Olten Campus, Olten, Switzerland)
Brigitte Liebig (School of Applied Psychology, University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland–Olten Campus, Olten, Switzerland)

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship

ISSN: 1756-6266

Article publication date: 22 June 2021

Issue publication date: 27 October 2021

244

Abstract

Purpose

The promotion of research-based entrepreneurship is considered a crucial task for universities and policymakers in many Western countries. Research has shown that the university environment plays a decisive role in the spin-off activities of researchers. Although the number of science-based spin-offs has increased in recent years, women are still an exception when it comes to developing spin-off ventures. In turn, there is a lack of knowledge regarding the university environment that supports entrepreneurship from a gender perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the theoretical framework of the “Entrepreneurial University,” this contribution examines the formal and informal conditions for academic entrepreneurship using the example of Swiss universities of applied sciences (UAS). Based on a cross-sectional dataset of 1,551 researchers from various disciplines who were surveyed in 2019, linear regressions and logistic regression models were used to test gender-specific differences in the perception of organizational conditions concerning the entrepreneurial exploitation of research.

Findings

The results demonstrated significant differences in the perception of formal and informal conditions in higher education. First, they show gender differences in the perception of informal entrepreneurial support in universities; in particular, female researchers received less informal support for spin-off projects. For example, women hardly viewed commercial use of research and development knowledge as a career option and considered the existence of entrepreneurial role models at universities to be low. Second, further analyses highlighted that also formal support offerings were less known among female researchers.

Originality/value

The study highlights organizational barriers for female researchers regarding the development of spin-off creation at UAS, including the different formal and informal conditions for female academics in comparison to their male counterparts.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) in undertaking this research.

Citation

Schneider, N., Blaese, R. and Liebig, B. (2021), "Conditions for spin-off creation at Swiss universities of applied sciences – a gender sensitive approach", International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 373-393. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJGE-07-2020-0099

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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