Intersections of gender, ethnicity, place and innovation: mapping the diversity of women–led SMEs in the UK

Beldina Elensia Owalla*, Elvis Nyanzu, Tim Vorley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article advances knowledge on the diversity and heterogeneity of women-led small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK by analysing how gender intersects with ethnicity and place to influence their engagement in innovation. We adopt an intersectional perspective, and base our analyses on the Longitudinal Small Business Survey (LSBS) data of 29,257 SMEs over the period 2015 to 2018. Our findings suggest that despite their limited number, as well as firm size and industry sector constraints, women-led SMEs are actively engaged in innovation activities (i.e. process innovation, product innovation, investment in research and development). In addition, our results on the effects of intersecting categories of gender, ethnicity, and place on innovation, further emphasises the heterogeneity of women-led SMEs, both with regard to their likelihood to engage in innovation, as well as the place where innovation is most likely to occur. Implications for policy and practice are highlighted.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Small Business Journal
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 27 Nov 2020

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