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Entrepreneurship Policies Through A Gender Lens (CIMR debates and workshops in public policy)

Venue: Online

Join the Centre for Innovation Management Research on Wednesday 6 October for a Debate on Entrepreneurship Policies Through A Gender Lens, part of the CIMR Debates and Workshops in Public Policy series.

  • Speakers: Professor Colette Henry, Professor Severine Le Loarne
  • Chair: Dr Jonathan Potter


Women are less likely to be entrepreneurs than men in OECD countries and tend to operate smaller and less dynamic businesses. This represents lost income and innovation for the economy and lost opportunities for women and their families. The OECD has posited that if women were to participate in early-stage entrepreneurship at the same rate as core-age men, there would be as many as 25 million additional entrepreneurs across OECD countries. The gender gap in entrepreneurship closed somewhat in OECD countries in the two decades up to 2019, but the COVID-19 crisis has hit women entrepreneurs harder than men, reversing the progress made.

The Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Policy (GWEP) Research Network and the OECD have recently launched the report “Entrepreneurship Policies Through a Gender Lens”, edited by Colette Henry, Barbara Orser, Susan Coleman, David Halabisky and Jonathan Potter. The report examines trends and barriers in entrepreneurship by gender, and includes 27 country-level policy insight notes authored by leading academic experts.  The report examines issues to do with culture, skills, finance, networks and regulations, highlighting for example the adverse impacts of family and tax policies, negative social attitudes, and access to finance barriers. It also argues that current public policies for entrepreneurship are often inadequate to address the gender gap. This is because many aspects of mainstream policies work better for men entrepreneurs (e.g. in the nature of businesses they target for support) while dedicated women entrepreneurship policies are often small-scale, short term, fragmented and symptom-oriented. 

This event will debate the key issues: 

  • What are the reasons for gender differences in the scale and nature of entrepreneurship activity? 
  • What needs to change in current entrepreneurship policies? 



Colette Henry is Head of Department of Business Studies at Dundalk Institute of Technology, Ireland, and Adjunct Professor, Business Strategy & Innovation, at Griffith University, Queensland, Australia. Her previous roles include Adjunct Professor at UiT- The Arctic University of Norway; Norbrook Professor of Business & Enterprise at the Royal Veterinary College, London, and President of the Institute for Small Business & Entrepreneurship, UK. She is founder and chair of the Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Research Network (Global WEP), and Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship.

Colette has published on entrepreneurship education, gender, the creative industries and veterinary/rural business, with over 50 journal articles and 14 books. In 2015 she received the Diana International Research Project Trailblazer Award, and in 2017 received the Sten K Johnson European Entrepreneurship Education Award from Lund University, Sweden. Colette is a fellow of the Royal Society, the Higher Education Academy, the Academy of Social Sciences, and the Institute for Small Business & Entrepreneurship.

Séverine Le Loarne-Lemaire is a Senior Professor at Grenoble Ecole de Management (France) and the founder and holder of the “Female Entrepreneurship for a Renewed Economy” (FERE) Chair. Her current research interest is the “entrepreneuring” of women founders, especially in deprived economic zones of developed countries. She has published various peer reviewed articles on spousal support for women entrepreneurs; women’s place within innovation processes, and women’s emancipation in ranked research journals. She has also published manuals on entrepreneurship and undertaken a range of studies on women’s entrepreneurship for established networks of entrepreneurs, such as Bouge ta Boite, Réseau Entreprendre and Les Premières, as well as for policy makers (EIT Health) and companies (BNP-Paribas Group).

Dr Jonathan Potter is Head of the Entrepreneurship Policy and Analysis Unit, Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities (CFE), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). His policy advice work for governments includes OECD country reviews of SME and entrepreneurship policies, assessments of local entrepreneurial ecosystems, and guidance on monitoring and evaluation of SME and entrepreneurship policies. He also leads OECD work on inclusive entrepreneurship policy. Key outputs include biennial “The Missing Entrepreneurs” reports, the OECD/EU Better Entrepreneurship Policy online policy support tool, and thematic Policy Briefs (youth, women, disabled, immigrants, incubation, finance etc.).  He holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge and is a visiting professor at the Department of Management, Birkbeck.  



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