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Gender is often the first feature a person notices in another person during face-to-face interaction, but researchers debate its relevance to entrepreneurship. On one side, the environmental selection pressures that new businesses face in competitive environments are unconcerned with whether founders are men or women. On the other, women are a powerful economic and creative force: Better understanding their entrepreneurial experiences can create increased prosperity and innovation if women entrepreneurs are currently underutilized or performing below their capabilities.

The research conducted thus far on men and women entrepreneurs has produced several noteworthy empirical findings. First, most entrepreneurs are men, but the number of women entering entrepreneurship has grown considerably in recent decades. Second, women's businesses are concentrated in service and retail industries, with few ventures in ...

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