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NOTE: Since 2009 the title of the International Journal of Entrepreneurship Education (IJEE) has been changed to the title above.  ISSN numbers: IJEE 1649-2269 and IRE 2009-2822

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ISSN Number: 2009-2822. Frequency: 4 Issues per year (online only)  

Article #1686 - Is Digitalization Affected by the Entrepreneur’s Gender? Evidence for Spanish SMEs in the Service and Retail Sectors

IRE Vol 20: Issue 4, 2022 , Pages 495-522

Author(s): Alfonso Expósito (Department of Applied Economics (Economic Structure), Universidad de Málaga, Spain), Amparo Sanchis-Llopis and Juan A. Sanchis-Llopis (Department of Applied Economics II, Universitat de Valencia and ERICES, Spain)

This study investigates the role of the entrepreneur’s gender on digitalization strategies undertaken by SMEs in the service and retail sectors. Specifically, we aim at testing how the gender of the entrepreneur may affect two different but related digitalization strategies: investment in software, and investment in equipment related to information and communication technologies (ICT). We use a sample of 1,041 Spanish businesses and estimate a bivariate probit model for these two decisions, controlling for other entrepreneurial and business characteristics. Results indicate a higher probability of male entrepreneurs to invest in software and ICT equipment, as compared to women. Furthermore, we find that entrepreneurial risk-taking and business’ innovation capabilities are important drivers for engaging in these two digitalization strategies, regardless of the gender of the entrepreneur, and that entrepreneurial proactiveness is especially important for women entrepreneurs, since the positive impact of entrepreneurial proactiveness on the probability to engage in digitalization strategies is stronger in women-led businesses.