Mobilizing Female Entrepreneurship Research to Inform Policy

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Gender and entrepreneurship scholars are increasingly called upon to consider policy implications in both identifying research questions and analyzing research results. Similarly, policy professionals are looking to inform policy with best available evidence. Yet, gaps between policy and gender and entrepreneurship scholars remain in both the availability of policy relevant academic research and the applied use of such research within policy domains. This dissertation represents an attempt to fill at least part of this gap by three diverse methods as represented in chapters two through four. Chapter two leverages qualitative methodology to a real-time policy problem and explores how women entrepreneurs experienced the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to inform the development of specific policy supports. Chapter three leverages an application of the public organization management science approach to identify policy relevant research questions for gender and entrepreneurship scholars, alongside of a review of current literature. Chapter four advances a particular policy relevant research question of special relevance within the current Canadian context, the impact of institutional support, subnational variation and providing unpaid care on the choice to become an entrepreneur. Collectively, these papers aim to advance theory, policy, and practice in helping to close the gap between the academy and policy professionals. The main limitation of this thesis is scope, as the setting both academically and for policy is limited to Alberta. Despite this, the findings of from this thesis can be broadly applied to both theory and practice. Contributions include an increased recognition of who policymakers are and what they are looking for alongside of an extension to the institutional theory of gender inequality of entrepreneurial entry. Future research can further explore policy-relevant research questions such as implications of subnational variations in institutional context on entrepreneurship.
entreprenuership, policy, women
Carlson, J. L. (2024). Mobilizing female entrepreneurship research to inform policy (Doctoral thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from