Gender and social entrepreneurship: building cumulative knowledge



Women’s participation in social entrepreneurship is significant and the potential of social entrepreneurship to empower women is increasingly recognised (e.g., Cherrier et al., 2017; Dimitriadis et al., 2017; Haugh and Talwar, 2016). However, despite a fast-developing and maturing literature on social entrepreneurship, scholarship on the gender-social entrepreneurship nexus remains sparse. Little is known about how gendered social entrepreneurship catalyses social change in varied contexts. The outcomes of women’s involvement and the processes by which they impact social ventures remains under-researched and under-theorized (Garcia-Lomas and Gabaldon, 2020). Therefore, the overarching aim of this Special Issue is to explore the intersection between gender and social entrepreneurship, draw attention to implications for practice, and articulate a forward research agenda.

Furthermore, the COVID-19 Pandemic has highlighted the scope for the social entrepreneurship sector to address social challenges at the local, national and global levels (Bacq and Lumpkin, 2021). Yet little is known about the gender dimensions of these responses. Going forward into the post-COVID-19 pandemic era and the need for heightened action to achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it is both vital and timely to seek new understanding on the gender dimensions of social entrepreneurship. 

List of topic areas:

Potential topics that may be covered by this Special Issue include but are not limited to: 

  • Role and resilience and of women-led social ventures in the face of exogenous shocks e.g., the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Gendered dimensions of opportunity development in social entrepreneurship 
  • Application of a gender lens to different social venture models e.g., Indigenous ventures, cooperatives  
  • Gendered agency in social entrepreneurial ecosystems 
  • Gendered dimensions of social entrepreneurship through varied theoretical lenses e.g., feminist, institutional, critical discursive
  • Global South explorations and comparative studies of gender and social enterprise
  • Gendered dimensions of social entrepreneurship policy
  • Gender and the leadership and governance of social ventures
  • Rural social entrepreneurship through a gender lens 
  • Community impacts of women's social entrepreneurship
  • Gender implications for scaling social innovations 

Submissions Information

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available at:

Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Please see:

Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to ““Please select the issue you are submitting to”. 

Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.

Guest Editors:

Anne de Bruin, University of Auckland Business School, New Zealand. [email protected]

 Robyn Eversole, Bucknell University, United States,  [email protected]

 Christine Woods,  University of Auckland Business School, New Zealand.  [email protected] 

Key Deadlines:

Closing date: 31st of March 2023    


Bacq, S., & Lumpkin, G. T. (2021). “Social Entrepreneurship and COVID-19”. Journal of Management Studies, 58(1), 285–288. 
Cherrier, H., Goswami, P. & Ray, S. (2017). “Social entrepreneurship: Creating value in the context of institutional complexity”, Journal of Business Research, 86, 245-258.
Dimitriadis, S., Lee, M., Ramarajan, L. & Battilana, J. (2017). “Blurring the boundaries: The interplay of gender and local communities in the commercialization of social ventures”, Organization Science, 28(5), 819-839.
Garcia-Lomas, I., & Gabaldon, P. (2020). “Gender – From Variable to Lens in Social Enterprises: A literature review and research agenda for women’s involvement in social ventures”, Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, 1-25.
Haugh, H. M. & Talwar, A. (2016). “Linking social entrepreneurship and social change: The mediating role of empowerment”, Journal of Business Ethics, 133(4), 643-658.