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A Web of opportunity or the same old story? Women digital entrepreneurs and intersectionality theory

Martinez Dy, Angela Carmina; Marlow, Susan; Martin, Lee


Angela Carmina Martinez Dy

Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Lee Martin


© 2016, © The Author(s) 2016. This article critically analyses the manner in which intersectionality and related social positionality shape digital enterprise activities. Despite popular claims of meritocratic opportunity enactment within traditional forms of entrepreneurship, ascribed social characteristics intersect to influence the realization of entrepreneurial potential. However, it is purported that the emerging field of digital entrepreneurship may act as a ‘great leveller’ owing to perceived lower barriers to entry, disembodiment of the entrepreneurial actor and the absence of visible markers of disadvantage online. Using an interpretivist approach, we analyse empirical evidence that reveals how the privileges and disadvantages arising from intersecting social positions of gender, race and class status are experienced by UK women digital entrepreneurs. This analysis challenges the notion that the internet is a neutral platform for entrepreneurship and supports our thesis that offline inequality, in the form of marked bodies, social positionality and associated resource constraints, is produced and reproduced in the online environment.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 18, 2016
Online Publication Date Jun 10, 2016
Publication Date 2017-03
Deposit Date May 16, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jun 10, 2016
Journal Human Relations
Print ISSN 0018-7267
Electronic ISSN 1741-282X
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 70
Issue 3
Pages 286-311
Keywords Digital, digital enterprise, entrepreneurship, gender, Internet, intersectionality, online business, online entrepreneurship, whitewashing, women
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