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Katrin Rössler

Fostering women entrepreneurship in Germany – GEEC factors and their impact on fostering supportive entrepreneurial ecosystems

My research focuses on how different factors such as government, education, economy and culture (“GEEC” factors) influence how entrepreneurial ecosystems provide favorable conditions for women entrepreneurs in general, and women entrepreneurs in STEM in particular.

Several initiatives exist in Germany to foster entrepreneurship in general, STEM education for women, entrepreneurship in academics or women entrepreneurship. This correlates with the ever increasing awareness for women as important drivers of innovation and economy. One interesting institution that will serve as a case study for my research is the German Accelerator. Their mission is to is to “establish a permanent bridge” between Germany and the United States on an entrepreneurial level. German entrepreneurs, and particularly those in the high-tech field – that is the idea – can profit from this US-American entrepreneurial ecosystem and this German-American bridge. However, despite this interest in fostering not only women in STEM subjects, but also women entrepreneurs, so far Germany has not seen many initiatives to satisfactorily link these endeavors together – in other words, as of now there has been no master plan to foster a “women entrepreneur accelerator”. One question that arises is what the benefits of such a German-American bridge could have from a socio-economic perspective, attempting to analyze what can be learned from this connection. Using theoretical frameworks such as Giddens’ structuration theory or Bourdieu’s practice theory to examine the structure/agent relationship between entrepreneurs (agents) and their entrepreneurial environments (structure), my underlying research question is what consequences changing between entrepreneurial ecosystems (taking a cross-cultural perspective between Germany and the United States) have for women entrepreneurship, or rather, how the insights gained from the exchange can be used to foster women entrepreneurship, especially in the hi-tech sector, in Germany. 

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