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Revista Brasileira de Gestão de Negócios

versão impressa ISSN 1983-0807versão On-line ISSN 1806-4892

Rev. bras. gest. neg. vol.18 no.60 São Paulo abr./jun. 2016 


An international study of the factors explaining high-growth expectation in new ventures: a gender perspective

Matilde Ruiz Arroyo3 

María del Mar Fuentes Fuentes4 

Jenny María Ruiz Jiménez4 

3University of Granada, Department of Business Administration, Melilla, Spain

4University of Granada, Department of Business Administration, Granada, Spain



Given the importance of high-impact entrepreneurship to economic growth, and the remarkable potential that women entrepreneurs have yet to contribute to the economic activity, in this study we propose a model to explain an entrepreneur’s high-growth expectation based on relevant strategic variables, additionally addressing the identification of possible gender differences in the predictors of an entrepreneur’s expectation for high-growth.


We use data from the 2009 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), working on a sample of 8,641 early-stage entrepreneurs referred to 49 countries. We perform hierarchical binomial logistic regressions, including a segmented analysis to compare the model between women and men entrepreneurs.


Based on our results, we confirm gender as a strong explanatory variable for growth aspirations, with women having lower levels of expectation for the high-growth of their ventures. Moreover, in comparing the determinants of high-growth expectation by gender, we can conclude that the set of significant predictors is not the same for male and female entrepreneurs. These results suggest a moderating effect of gender in shaping the configuration of the factors determining an entrepreneur’s propensity for high-growth.


This research contributes to a better understanding of the factors driving high-growth expectation, thus helping to advance knowledge in the area of strategic entrepreneurship, as well as in women’s entrepreneurship literature. As for practical implications, our results point out to the necessity of designing specific policies for men and women, in order to promote high-growth entrepreneurship.

Keywords: Firm high-growth expectation; gender; resource-based view; organizational factors


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11Evaluation process: Double Blind Review

1The quality of GEM data is widely recognized by both economists and management researchers (Uhlaner & Thurik, 2007), and it has been proved through previous independent validation tests (Acs, Desai, & Klapper, 2008). In recent years, a significantly increasing number of publications using GEM data or referring to GEM approach has been observed (Ruiz Navarro, & García Montesinos, 2013).

2For more information about the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, please, see:

3Taking into account that our sample is made up of observations from 49 countries, 2009 can represent a good period to study high-growth expectation with an international scope. Given that the beginning of the global economic crisis is acknowledged in 2008 (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD], 2009), the worst negative economic effects of the crisis were in 2009 yet to come in the vast majority of the countries, therefore expectations about growing businesses probably have not suffered so much in that period. This has allowed us to undertake a more homogeneous analysis, not too distorted or biased than it would have been with data from subsequent years. However, it has been necessary to include it with the purpose of control, as the world crisis was already present and vastly spread in 2009 (OECD, 2009).

Supporting Agencies: The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support received from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness [ECO2012-36053], the Andalusian Government [P12-SEJ-2396] and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Contribution of each author:

Received: February 04, 2014; Accepted: June 09, 2016

Responsible editor: Prof. Dr. João Maurício Gama Boaventura


. Matilde Ruiz Arroyo, PhD in Business Administration and Management, Associate Professor University of Granada. E-mail:


. María del Mar Fuentes Fuentes, PhD in Economic and Business Sciences, Full Professor University of Granada. E-mail:


. Jenny María Ruiz Jiménez, PhD in Economic and Business Sciences, Assistant Professor University of Granada. E-mail:

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