Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to understand how gender affects the number and innovativeness of business opportunities identified by future entrepreneurs in Mexico. Design/methodology/approach – Comparing social feminist theory and human capital theory, this study examines the effect that human capital has on opportunity identification among men and women in Mexico. The authors specifically examine the role of specific and general human capital in the opportunity identification process. A survey instrument was applied to 174 MBA students at a university in Northeastern Mexico. Findings – This study shows the significant effect of specific human capital: people with greater prior knowledge of customer needs or problems tended to identify more opportunities; however, the probability of identifying opportunities with innovation increased when individuals had been exposed to different industries through prior work and entrepreneurial experience. Gender differences were not significant for either the number of opportunities identified or the innovativeness of such opportunities. Originality/value – This study provides evidence of the effect that human capital and gender have on opportunity identification in Mexico and provides an explanation within a context that has not been studied previously.
International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 27, 2011
Keywords: Mexico; Opportunity identification; Human capital; Gender
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