Women business ventures in Swedish university incubators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose – Despite a growing interest in both women and university academic entrepreneurship, there are very few studies addressing women's academic entrepreneurship. The authors address this gap by focusing on university incubators for women's academic entrepreneurship. The purpose of this paper is to examine and analyze the significance of university incubators for the promotion and development of women's academic business start-ups.

Design/methodology/approach – The authors use a unique Swedish database for multivariate statistical tests on the performance of groups of women- and men-led ventures, as well as on groups of women incubatees. The database includes data for over 1,400 ventures, out of which 210 ventures are by women entrepreneurs.

Findings – About 15 percent of the ventures in the incubators are started and managed by women entrepreneurs. Several significant differences were found between the groups, but the overall conclusion is that the Swedish incubators in this study do not show any evidence of being able to decrease the gender gap in the commercialization of university science.

Originality/value – The study makes three important contributions. First, it applies a multilevel design that takes into consideration the relationship between individual firms and the incubator environment. Second, the authors conducted their analysis on women academic entrepreneurs who start their ventures in incubators, which means that the authors are concerned with a specific knowledge-intensive context, where men and women entrepreneurs possess fairly similar levels of human capital. Third, the unique database allows statistical analysis on a large data set, which provides research-based knowledge about the conditions for entrepreneurial career development among women in academic environments.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-96
JournalInternational Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch