Developing entrepreneurship programmes for female members of the Irish traveller community

Thomas M. Cooney
2009 International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship  
Entrepreneurship Abstract Purpose -The purpose of this paper is to understand gender differences in entrepreneurial intentions as measured by perceived feasibility and perceived desirability, and to explore gender differences in perceptions of entrepreneurship education needs -in terms of programmes, activities or projects -to succeed in an entrepreneurial career from the university students' point of view. Design / Methodology /Approach -Using data gathered from 3420 university students in
more » ... than 10 countries, and applying the Mann-Whitney non-parametric test, differences between genders and different intention groups were examined. To reduce the items regarding educational needs, factor analysis was used. Gender differences in educational needs were also examined via Mann-Whitney Test. Findings -The results confirm that compared to males, female students are less willing to start their own businesses. There are significant gender differences in terms of perceived feasibility and perceived desirability such that although they feel more supported by their families, females are less self-confident, more tense, reluctant and concerned about entrepreneurship. In terms of entrepreneurial intention, there are fewer gender differences among students; however, differences relating to self-confidence and family support still exist. Furthermore, students cited establishing entrepreneurial mentoring and an appropriate tutoring structure as the most needed entrepreneurial educational activity/program/project at an academic institution; this was rated higher by females compared to males. Practical implications -The findings of this paper could help guide educators and policy makers in designing effective entrepreneurship programmes that are customized to respond to gender specific needs to increase entrepreneurial participation. Originality / Value -This study reveals the gender differences in perceived desirability and perceived feasibility which impact entrepreneurial intentions. Gender differences in the entrepreneurial programmes/activities/projects required at an academic institution to promote entrepreneurial participation among university students is also explored. Paper type Research paper 2009; de Bruin et al., 2006), the number of female entrepreneurs is still generally lower than the number of the male entrepreneurs (GEM, 2010). A review of the entrepreneurship literature reinforces this. For example, as a result of the evaluation of 15 EU member countries and the US, Grilo and Irigoyen (2005) found that self-employment is more preferred by men than women. Wilson et al. (2004) suggest that among teens, boys are more willing to engage in entrepreneurial activities in comparison to girls. Also according to Wilson et al. (2007) female high school and MBA program students show lower entrepreneurial selfefficacy than male students. Zhang et al. (2009) suggest that gender differences regarding entrepreneurial intentions are due to the genetic basis of entrepreneurship. Since female and
doi:10.1108/17566260910969689 fatcat:ej72h7375fgp5px2nkvttydyiu