The Role of Gender in Entrepreneurial Leadership Skills Training


  • Verona P. Edmond North Carolina A&T State University
  • David Brannon Towson University
  • Alice Stewart North Carolina A&T State University
  • Jacqueline Williams North Carolina A&T State University


In recent years, the number of women-owned firms has expand-ed at 1½ times the rate of U. S. businesses overall. But given this impressive trend, women-owned businesses still generate fewer profits and revenues than businesses owned by men, and employ fewer people than male-owned firms. Prior research has offered several explanations for this trend including lower self-efficacy among women, type of firms owned by women, choice of industry in which they operate, work-life balance is-sues for women, and limited networks. A growing body of liter-ature also suggests that in order to establish sustainable and growth oriented ventures, entrepreneurs must develop and uti-lize leadership skills. Yet, little research has been conducted to investigate whether these skills develop the same way for both genders when using traditional and technologically-driven ap-proaches. In this research, we grapple with the challenge of how to effectively develop entrepreneurial leadership competen-cies among women. Using a quasi-experimental design, we empirically test the relationship, based on gender, between ped-agogy style and perceived leadership effectiveness. The results suggest that the use of game-based simulations that emphasize role play may be particularly valuable for improving the per-ceived effectiveness of women entrepreneurs.