Female academic entrepreneurship and commercialisation: Reviewing the evidence and identifying the challenges

Helen Lawton Smith, Henry Etzkowitz, Viviana Meschitti, Alex Poulovassilis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter considers the propensity for women academics in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects to be academic entrepreneurs or to commercialise their research through patents and licenses. Commercialisation covers a variety of activities. Extant literature has mainly focused on the formation of academic spin-off companies, pre-commercialisation activity such as academic publishing and patents and licensing. Female entrepreneurship as a discrete research area has expanded significantly since the 1980s, attracting concerted academic attention in recent years. While women academics in STEM subjects yield fewer patents than their male counterparts, there is evidence that the quality and impact of women's patents is either equal or superior to those of male scientists. The process of commercialisation has been explained as a social process, for example in networking and human capital. Institutional analysis helps identify constraints within an organisation that might undermine policy implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Global Female Entrepreneurship
EditorsColette Henry, Teresa Nelson, Kate V. Lewis
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781315794570
ISBN (Print)9781138015180, 9781032242231
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2017
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameRoutledge Companions in Business and Management


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