Prof. Zhang, assistant professor at Arizona State University, said:
Family violence, physical abuse or parents divorcing can play a role in keeping a girl from becoming an entrepreneur later in life.
“Childhood trauma might impede girls’ natural genetic inclination to become entrepreneurs,” Zhang said. “But environmental factors such as peer support, mentor programs, positive internships, and other activities where kids learn about financial independence and being a business owner can help mediate that. In the end, if girls get enough social and environmental support, their chances of becoming entrepreneurs can remain the same.
Even though DNA is fixed, it needs human behavior to manifest itself,” Zhang said. “It’s the same thing for someone genetically inclined to be a scientist or an artist – they still need to be nurtured through social and environmental factors. Girls who have a supportive environment during adolescence will be more likely to reach their full genetic potential as entrepreneurs, while those affected by negative, stressful events can have their natural genetic disposition weakened.” [Source1]
I agree with Prof. Zhang's findings and assertions for female entrepreneurs, and I want to support it with my researches of entrepreneurship education degree/certificate in college and university.
I hypothesized that the growth rate of entrepreneurship education degree/certificate granting to female is higher than male.
Reasons of my hypothesis are: Women entrepreneurs have emerged in unprecedented numbers past decade (Gundry & Welsch, 2001; Kuratko & Hodgetts, 2004). Although female entrepreneurs’ level and quality of education were not different from male entrepreneurs (Fischer, Reuber, & Dyke, 1993), many female entrepreneurs suffer from skills gap derived from their segmented participation in the workforce and, to a lesser degree, the education system. As a result, female entrepreneurs may lack skills, experience and self-confidence (Fielden & Davidson, 2006).
According to precedent research, besides of the early childhood abuse to girls, there are many suffers for female entrepreneurs. So, I though many females would like to join entrepreneurship education than male in college and university in order to get supports or cultivate knowledge, skills and ability to start a business.
My finding is as below.
Number of entrepreneurship education degree/certificate in college/university for female (270%) and male (182%) has dramatically increased for last 13 years (1996-2008 academic years). These data was synthesized with the IPEDS (Institute of Postsecondary Education Data System, U.S. Department of Education).
The annual growth rate of entrepreneurship education degree/certificate for female is 12.156% and 10.442% for male. These growth rates for entrepreneurship education in college/university are quite higher than business education and non-business education at the same period (less than 2%).
By the way, I have found two interesting incongruent facts for entrepreneurship education degree/certificate for female.
First, the growth rates of entrepreneurship education degree/certificate for female and male has no statistical difference during the period. Although the difference of annual growth rate seems big enough (1.714%: 12.156 to 10.442), statistically (t-test for equality of means, p-value (2-tails): 0.680) there is no mean difference between female and male.
Second, males get more entrepreneurship education degree/certificate in college/university than female while females get more business education degree/certificate in college/university than male as following figure.
My tentative conclusion for these findings is "Entrepreneurship education for female is underdeveloped in college and university though we are experiencing unprecedented growth of female entrepreneurs."
As prof. Zhang said, providing supportive environments for female is important to nurture female entrepreneurship. And my question is who should provide entrepreneurship friendly environment for female?
Everybody or every sectors may not be the answer. However, college and university, especially public institutions, need to take the role for potential female entrepreneurs since they can provide non-competition, less risky, and supportive social capital cultivation environments than any other sectors in a society.
We cannot manipulate Genes for entrepreneurship yet, but we can change Memes (socio-spiritual DNA) by providing appropriate environment for potential female entrepreneurs.
J. Philip Choi,
Aug. 05 2010
Childhood trauma could hurt girls' goals of entrepreneurship
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