The nation’s economic vitality and global competitiveness depends on the creativity and innovation of its citizenship. While institutions of higher education nationwide are being pressured to train and produce a highly skilled technical workforce, engineering schools are especially challenged with preparing their students to anticipate societal needs and translate their technical expertise into commercializable solutions. In response to this challenge, engineering schools have begun incorporating entrepreneurship education programs within their curriculums. Regardless of differences in size, scope, and student participation, generally, these programs are intended to provide students with fundamental business skills and foster an entrepreneurial mindset(Gilmartin, Shartrand, Chen, Estrada, & Sheppard, 2014).
While research has shown that entrepreneurship education programs do increase science and engineering students’ entrepreneurial intent (Souitaris, Zerbinati, & Al-Laham, 2007), potential differences in outcomes based on gender were not examined. Additionally, what is occurring within entrepreneurship education environments that might be influencing women’s entrepreneurial outcomes and experiences? Curious about how gender has been addressed in entrepreneurship education scholarship, we have conducted a systematic literature review of entrepreneurship education research to date as found in three databases (Scopus, API/INFORM, and ERIC) and extracted articles that specifically focus on gender. After applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, our search yielded 24 articles for this review.
In addition to synthesizing current entrepreneurship education research with an emphasis on gender, this review also provides recommendations for engineering education researchers who desire to examine how entrepreneurship education environments influence women. The purpose of this review is to guide future research on engineering entrepreneurship through a gendered lens. Further, this review serves to inform the development or improvement of existing engineering entrepreneurship education programs that seek to attract and retain more women.
Gilmartin, S., Shartrand, A., Chen, H., Estrada, C., & Sheppard, S. (2014). U.S.-based entrepreneurship programs for undergraduate engineers: Scope, development, goals, and pedagogies. Epicenter Technical Brief 1. Stanford, CA and Hadley, MA: National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation.
Souitaris, V., Zerbinati, S., & Al-Laham, A. (2007). Do entrepreneurship programmes raise entrepreneurial intention of science and engineering students? The effect of learning, inspiration and resources. Journal of Business Venturing, 22(4), 566–591. doi:10.1016/j.jbusvent.2006.05.002
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