Call for Chapters: Women’s Entrepreneurship in a Turbulent Era

Chapter Proposals Due: Febraury 28th 2022

Full Chapters Due: September 30th 2022

Women’s Entrepreneurship in a Turbulent Era

Edward Elgar Publishing

Editors: Colette Henry, Joan Ballantine, Shumaila Yousafzai  & Roshni Narendran

Recent decades have witnessed an increase in women’s entrepreneurship activity, with Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) data recording 163 million women-owned businesses (Kelley et al., 2017). Women entrepreneurs have gained recognition for breaking patriarchal boundaries in many industries and positively contributing to the economy. There has also been an increase in scholarly interest in women’s entrepreneurship with research studies criticised for being based on masculine discourses (Ahl 2006; Swail & Marlow, 2018) and feminist theories increasingly used to understand the complex nature of entrepreneurial activity (see, for example, Tlaiss & Kauser, 2019; Ahl & Marlow, 2021).

Successes of women entrepreneurs are often defined within the shadow of heteropatriarchal expectations. Heteropatriarchy is where the social system is dominated by heterosexuality and patriarchy, and anything outside of this norm is considered to be abnormal (Arvin et al., 2013). This dominance can be seen in how we measure performance. For example, the performance of women-owned businesses is often measured against the standards of masculine construction, i.e. profits, sales, and employees (Ahl, 2006). Besides, in a neoliberal economy with dominating market forces, businesses are often defined against tangible masculinised outcomes rather than intangible outcomes such as unpaid labour, which women are often engaged in (Marlow, 2019). Women entrepreneurs also embrace this expectation, wherein a recent study, Heizmann and Liu (2020), showed how independent liberal women entrepreneurs often conform to the feminised identities or romanticised ideals of women when promoting their business, thus, showing how heteropatriarchy lingers in women entrepreneurship. However, in recent years, given the turbulent political and economic environment, it is acknowledged that women can redefine their role in favour or against the heteropatriarchal expectations.

Many women entrepreneurs took advantage of the constraints of the recent pandemic and pivoted their businesses in the digital space (Afshan, et al. 2021; Manolova, et al. 2020; Mustafa, et al. 2021). A recent study by Althalathini, et al. (2020) showed how women entrepreneurs weather the challenges of patriarchal expectations to make valuable social and economic contributions to their families and society. However, while many women entrepreneurs have adapted to recent environmental challenges, in some cases these challenges have enforced an additional layer of subordination. Thus, women entrepreneurs who care for their family have one additional layer of duty, caring for both their family and customers’ needs (Afshan, et al. 2021; Mustafa, et al. 2021). In addition to decreasing market opportunities for women entrepreneurs, many women suffered economic and mental stress; such stress made many women susceptible to physical and sexual violence from their domestic partners (Roesch et al., 2020).

Call for Chapters

There are not many studies that draw on insights into women’s efforts in redefining the rules during turbulent eras, including war, conflict, pandemic, regime change, environmental disasters and climate change.The purpose of this book is to gather high quality research contributions that focus on women entrepreneurs who are currently navigating or have survived a turbulent era. For the purposes of this volume, we intentionally adopt a broad perspective, defining a ‘turbulent era’ as a period of crisis, extreme difficulty, struggle or stress, including but not limited to economic downturns and recessions, wartime, oppression, poverty, natural disasters, climate change or pandemics such as Covid-19. The particular ‘era’ may be past or present, context-specific or universal, bounded or unbounded by time and place. We are interested in gaining insights into how women entrepreneurs naviagate their turbulent era and how it influences their entrepreneurial endeavours. In attracting contributions, we highlight that the term ‘women’ is not a metonymy for heterosexual women (Marlow et al., 2018), and authors are free to explore women in the LGBT+ community.

Drawing on scholars from the Global WEP Entrepreneurship Policy Research network – a group of established scholars from over 35 counties, researching, critiquing and exchanging knowledge on women’s entrepreneurship policy – as well as the broader international community of women’s entrepreneurship scholars – this edited book aims to address current gaps in women’s entrepreneurship scholarship by offering a collection of chapters offering insights into how women entrepreneurs navigate turbulat eras around the globe. Accordingly, we invite chapters – conceptual, empirical or thought pieces, including contirubtions that rely on secondary data – that seek to:

  • Explore, critique and/or compare how women entrepreneurs in particular countries or geographical regions have sustained their entrepreneurial endeavours in times of turbulence.
  • Investigate how women entrepreneurs have sought to turn their entrepreneurial activities into a source of empowerment in turbulent eras – whether their efforts were successful or unsuccessful.
  • Study women’s pivoting strategies adopted to deal with turbulence and the extent to which these may have redefined social and cultural norms.
  • Consider the influence of digital technology in helping women tackle the challenges they faced.
  • Critique how governments supported women entrepreneurs in turbulent eras.
  • Carve out an ambitious future research agenda based on eclectic perspectives for the field.

The above list of topics is not exhaustive, and we welcome proposals for other areas that offer an appropriate fit with the book. Authors should adere to the ethical guuidelines of their instutions  where appropriate/required. Please note that all chapers will be peer reviewed, and chapter authors will be expected to review at least one submitted chapter.

With regard to methodological approaches, we invite papers adopting both quantitative and qualitative inquiry, although the latter would enable a deeper understanding of the lived experiences of women entrepreneurs within their entrepreneurial environment. However, researchers could also potentially consider adopting a mixed methods approach wherein positivistic, objective approaches can be complemented with interpretivist, subjectivist techniques to analyse the experiences of female entrepreneurs within their entrepreneurial ecosystem or entrepreneurial environment. Qualitative methodologies would also aid studies that involve researching across cultures and different contexts, where it may be difficult to capture the varied behaviour and experiences using quantitative approaches alone. Some potential qualitative methods that could be used include narrative approaches, ethnography, focus groups and also participative research which promotes active participation from female entrepreneurs as subjects of research, thus empowering them as a result of narrating their experiences.

Target audience

This text will target various audiences, including the following: academics who teach and/or research the impact of women’s entrepreneurship; policy makers and practitioners; and doctoral students within the discipline.

Submission process

  1. Expression of Interest and chapter proposals: Potential authors are invited to submit, on or before 28thFebruary 2022, a brief 500 words proposal that clearly explains the research gap, intended contributions, as well as the intended methodology/approach. Proposals submitted must not have been published, accepted for publication, or under consideration for publication anywhere else. The first page of the proposal should contain the title of the intended chapter, as well as the authors’ names and full contact details. Proposals should be submitted via e-mail in a single Word file (as ‘.doc’) to:
  2. Confirmation of invitation to submit full chapter: The purpose of reviewing the proposals is to identify those potential chapters that fit the overall theme of the research anthology. In some cases, we may propose suggested changes to align the proposed chapter better with the anthology; such changes will take place in a dialogue with the authors. By March 30th 2022, potential authors will be notified of the status of their proposed chapter and, when accepted, receive further information regarding the submission process, including formatting guidelines.
  3. Final Submission: Final submissions should be approximately 5,000 – 7,000 words in length, excluding references, figures, tables, and appendices. All chapters will be double-blind reviewed, therefore, authors should not identify themselves in the body of their chapter. Full chapters should be submitted no later than September 30th 2022 via an e-mail in a single Word file (as ‘.doc’) to: .

Questions: Please address any questions to Professor Colette Henry: .

Important Dates

  • Submission of chapter abstracts (500 words approx.): by 28th February 2022
  • Notification of acceptance and invitation to submit full chapter: by 30th March 2022
  • First draft of chapter (5,000 – 7,000 words + references): by 30th September 2022
  • Chapter authors receive reviews with feedback: during December 2022
  • Final revised chapter: by 1st March 2023
  • Expected publication date: Late 2023

Should you wish to discuss your potential contribution in advance, please feel free to contact any of the editors below.

  1. Colette Henry ()
  2. Joan Ballantine ()
  3. Shumaila Yousafzai()
  4. Roshni Narendran ()