Providing women with the opportunity to connect and interact with same-gender entrepreneurs can boost their entrepreneurial self-efficacy and positively influence the development of key antecedents to entrepreneurial intentions.
Students are matched with an entrepreneur of either the same or different gender to see whether same-gender role models are more effective than different-gender ones. It’s of particular interest to see whether exposing young women to successful women entrepreneurs can help to deconstruct the male stereotype and avoid its consequences.
A full-semester mandatory entrepreneurship course, the core of which is formed of ‘business challenges’. Students collaborate in teams of four to five with real-life entrepreneurs to prepare a 15-page business plan for the entrepreneur’s startup. The course coordinators recommend that teams and entrepreneurs meet at least twice during the course period.
- To increase students’ entrepreneurial self-efficacy, attitudes and intentions, especially among women.
The entrepreneurship course took place in a university located in a city with the reputation of being one of Europe’s entrepreneurial centres.
Undergraduate students who took part in a full-semester mandatory entrepreneurship course as part of their major in business administration and students who chose human resource education and management as their main subject.
Some teams are matched with a woman entrepreneur, while the rest are matched with a man entrepreneur. That gives four types of student–entrepreneur combination:
- Women students matched with woman entrepreneur
- Women students matched with man entrepreneur
- Men students matched with man entrepreneur
- Men students matched with woman entrepreneur
- Women students matched with women entrepreneurs presented higher increases in entrepreneurial self-efficacy and smaller decreases in entrepreneurial intentions than women students matched with men entrepreneurs.
- Men students presented similar patterns when matched with men entrepreneurs, although the effect was much weaker.
- Students’ attitudes towards entrepreneurship didn’t differ among students matched with same-gender or different-gender entrepreneurs.
- Providing women with the opportunity to connect and interact with same-gender entrepreneurs can boost their entrepreneurial self-efficacy and positively influence the development of key antecedents to entrepreneurial intentions.