Exploring Entrepreneurial Coaching as a Gendered Phenomenon Within Business Incubators
Business incubators are organizations that promote and support entrepreneurial activity through services such as entrepreneurial coaching. However, how coaching impacts entrepreneurs is not well understood, particularly from a gendered perspective. It is essential to understand this gap because women are underrepresented in the field of entrepreneurship. Gender stereotypes create barriers that portray females as being less capable entrepreneurs. Therefore, women must overcome challenges that their male counterparts do not. The emergent model from this qualitative study of six female entrepreneurs, five male entrepreneurs and four coaches suggests three dimensions of coaching (venture support, emotional support, gender sensitivity) that benefit entrepreneurs. Insights into the differences between the coaching needs of men and women entrepreneurs were obtained by drawing on entrepreneurial self-efficacy to explain the relationship between the dimensions of coaching and entrepreneurial outcomes. The findings suggest implications for future research, incubation management, and public policy.