Overcoming the entrepreneurial ecosystem gender divide: a cross-cultural perspective

Topics: Gender And New Technologies ; Gender In Entrepreneurship and in the Innovation System

Underlying most regional entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem frameworks is the assumption that all entrepreneurs have equal access to resources, participation and support, as well as an equal chance of a successful outcome (venture start-up). However, women are underrepresented in successful entrepreneurial ecosystems and a persistent gender bias continues to exist in entrepreneurship discourse and practice. The UN SDG on Gender states that women suffer from “disadvantages in education [which] translate into lack of access to skills and limited opportunities in the labour market”. We aim to address this, by providing a nuanced understanding of how gender is a decisive factor, i.e. how women and men are influenced by and, in turn, influence entrepreneurial ecosystems differently. In order to achieve this, we will focus on a specific facet of gender in entrepreneurship: namely women’s technology entrepreneurship and how this relates to accepted femininity and masculinity norms in different contexts. We will focus on the cultural embeddedness and interactions of gender, technology, entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems. Our comparison between Ireland, Sweden, Norway, and Israel will help to explain variations and similarities with regard to gender in technology entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem frameworks. The findings generated will inform policy development aimed at inclusivity and sustainability, thus benefiting both women and men.


Project Coordinator

Dublin City University


Ireland, Israel, Norway, Sweden

Institutions involved

Dublin City University, Nord University Business School, Center for Gender Studies, Karlstad University, Kinneret Academic College


Maura McAdam (DCU, Dublin)

More about the project on Prof. Maura McAdam’s website:

Check out the project’s website for publications :

  • The 16th Diana International Women’s Entrepreneurship Conference and Impact Day will take place between 19th-22nd of June 2022 in Dublin, Ireland. The conference is the scholarly arm of the Diana Project which was founded in 1999 and produced the first research identifying the challenges that women face in acquiring growth capital to scale and expand their businesses. In addition to the academic part of the conference whereby 100 of the leading global women entrepreneurship scholars will meet, on the 22nd of June, there will also be an innovative Impact Day.

    The findings from the GENRE project Overcoming the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Gender Divide: A Cross-Cultural Perspective will be showcased at the Conference more generally and at the Impact Day in particular. At the Impact Day, approximately 200 entrepreneurs will congregate with academics and policymakers in order to come up with collaborative entrepreneurship practice-based solutions. We are excited in that one of our key deliverables of the project, an inclusive entrepreneurship framework will be disseminated to academics, business, and policymakers.

  • GENRE project presentations at the Diana International Research Conference and Impact Day : 

    • Poster presentation: Entrepreneurship in a new era: The rise of the Tech Femopreneur, Anne-Charlott Callerstig, and Dag Balkmar
    • Conference presentation: Men Negotiating Contemporary Entrepreneurship in Gender Equal Scandinavia: Priviledged, Potential, and Paradoxical Positionings. D. Balkmar M. Lindvert and E. Ljunggren
    • Workshop: “My Better Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: shattering the myths and not just the glass ceiling”, Anne-Charlott Callerstig, Maura McAdam and Caren Weinberg. 

GENRE project - Diana International Research Conference - visual