International Journal of Gender & Entrepreneurship
September 18, 2020
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The Covid- 19 pandemic affects everyone, including our research community. While some research endeavors have managed to garner specific launch/start-up support as a result of the Covid 19-pandemic through media attention (e.g.  directed research bids, fast tracking for ethical testing, etc), most research has been impeded because planned empirical studies cannot be operationalized. As such, the pandemic hampers the research efforts of those working in an already pressured education/research sector. In this call for papers we aim to capture research that is capable of providing new knowledge with regard to entrepreneurial behavior in this time of crisis.

Entrepreneurship research is critical in Universities and Business Schools. Most policy initiatives that have been offered to protect economies during the Covid-19 crisis seem to target established corporations (Kuckertz et al; 2020), however, there is a need for research that focuses on start-ups and the self-employed, as well as the challenges they face and the support they receive from the broader entrepreneurial ecosystem. Given that start-ups which shape future economic activity are amongst the most vulnerable actors in the economy (Walsh & Cunningham, 2016), there is a need for immediate research attention. Start-ups, due to their newness and smallness (Aldrich & Fiol 1994), as well as their lower legitimacy base (Zimmermann & Zeitz, 2002), are especially vulnerable during the current Covid-19 crisis.

Women’s entrepreneurship is an area that needs specific research attention in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, as self-employed and small and medium enterprises are at the center of the current crises. According to a recent study, more than 50 % of SMEs have already lost significant revenue and are at risk of being out of business within three months (OECD, 2020). Women face specific challenges due to balancing work with increased household responsibilities, including childcare due to school closures. Across the OECD countries, women also spending two hours more per day on unpaid work at home than men (OECD Gender data portal). Furthermore, one quarter of self-employed women have employees (OECD, 2019), consequently we can expect a significant number of business exits and substantial job losses.

Topics/research questions can include, but are not restricted to:

  • How have women entrepreneurs experienced the Covid-19 crisis in terms of their particular business and industry/region/country context?
  • How have women managed the business-family intersphere?
  • How have women entrepreneurs reoriented their business?
  • Which learning processes have women entrepreneurs gone through and how have these affected their further plans for their business?
  • How do women entrepreneurs compare to their male counterparts during this time of crisis?
  • Does the low capitalization of women’s businesses mean high vulnerability or low susceptibility?
  • How have policy measures – whether existing or newly implemented to address Covid-19 issues – helped (or hindered) women’s entrepreneurial activities?
  • Analysis of specific initiatives designed to support during Covid-19 and targeted by gender
  • Gendered comparative examinations of the experience of Covid-19 for small business owners across country contexts
  • Intersectional considerations of the gendered entrepreneurship experience during Covid-19
  • Critiques of structural discrimination embedded in policy responses to Covid-19.