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Gender, risk and finance: why can't a woman be more like a man?

Marlow, Susan; Swail, Janine


Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Janine Swail


Whilst acknowledging that the influence of gender upon women's business ownership is now included as a legitimate addition to the contemporary entrepreneurship research agenda, we question the assumptions which frame this inclusion. We argue that whilst the masculinity of the entrepreneurial discourse has been recognized, this has promoted an almost exclusive focus upon women as the cipher for and personification of the gendered subject. Using explorations of risk and business finance in the context of entrepreneurship, we demonstrate how this presumption ascribes women a discrete but generic theoretical and empirical status associated with weakness and lack. Drawing upon a feminist stance, we suggest that the framing of this contemporary critique, rather than addressing the gender blindness endemic within entrepreneurship, actually generates ontological biases and associated epistemological limitations which perpetuate female disadvantage. These, in turn, constrain the theoretical and empirical reach of the broader field of entrepreneurship research.


Marlow, S., & Swail, J. (2014). Gender, risk and finance: why can't a woman be more like a man?. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 26(1-2), 80-96. doi:10.1080/08985626.2013.860484

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 25, 2013
Online Publication Date Jan 8, 2014
Publication Date 2014-01
Deposit Date Mar 11, 2019
Journal Entrepreneurship & Regional Development
Print ISSN 0898-5626
Electronic ISSN 1464-5114
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue 1-2
Pages 80-96
Keywords Entrepreneurship, Gender, Risk, Finance
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Peer Review Statement: The publishing and review policy for this title is described in its Aims & Scope.; Aim & Scope: