Gender, Risk, and Venture Creation Intentions


  • Chris Dawson,

    Search for more papers by this author
    • Chris Dawson is Lecturer in Business Economics at School of Management, University of Bath.
  • Andrew Henley

    Corresponding author
    • Address correspondence to: Andrew Henley, School of Management and Business, Aberystwyth University, Llanbadarn, Aberystwyth, SY23 3AL, UK. E-mail:

    Search for more papers by this author
    • Andrew Henley is Professor of Entrepreneurship and Regional Economic Development at School of Management and Business, Aberystwyth University.


This paper is concerned with whether women are less likely to express business start-up intentions because of a less favorable attitude to risk. Previous research suggests that attitude to risk differs significantly between genders, but has not addressed the question of whether this contributes to lower levels of female interest in venture creation. This paper describes a conceptual basis for this question, and investigates it using a survey of business start-up intention from across a sample of European universities. A large proportion of the difference in average levels of intention between genders appears to be associated with attitude to risk.