Nurturing Entrepreneurs' Work–Family Balance: A Gendered Perspective


  • Note: This research was supported by the Tarica-Edwards Fellowship at Northeastern University, the Patricia and Timothy Friar Endowment at the University of Connecticut, and the Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CCEI) at the University of Connecticut. The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance from the Center for Women and Enterprise (CWE), Boston, Massachusetts in conducting the research. An earlier version of this paper received the Best Paper Award at the 2010 Diana International Conference on Women's Entrepreneurship in Banff, Canada.

Gary N. Powell, tel.: 860-486-3862; e-mail:, to Kimberly A. Eddleston at


A survey of 258 entrepreneurs examined how positive facets of their family experiences, family-to-business enrichment, and support, nurture their satisfaction with work–family balance. Satisfaction with work–family balance was nurtured by instrumental family-to-business enrichment to the advantage of women as a group and by instrumental support from the family at home to the advantage of men as a group. Overall, results supported feminist theories that depict entrepreneurship as a gendered process. Female entrepreneurs tend to nurture satisfaction with work–family balance by creating work–family synergies, whereas male entrepreneurs tend to nurture satisfaction with work–family balance by obtaining family support at home.