What can schools do to increase the entrepreneurial intentions among young women? Analysis of data from Norway and Slovakia.
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In this paper we document and analyze gender differences in entrepreneurial intentions (EI) among Norwegian and Slovak youths. We have collected data from high schools in Norway and Slovakia. In total, we have 1457 respondents from Norway and 537 from Slovakia with an average age of about 19 years. The results show that EI among Norwegian youths are significantly lower than among Slovak youths. Further, entrepreneurial intentions among young males are significantly higher than for young females in both countries, but the gender gap is significantly higher among Norwegian youths compared to their Slovak counterparts. For both Slovak and Norwegian women, having leadership ambitions, a proactive personality and perceived support from family and friends are prominent antecedents for EI. There are, however, some important differences. For Slovak women, achieving autonomy is an important factor influencing EI. This is not a significant factor for Norwegian women. On the other hand, being a daughter of self-employed parents, having role models other than family and friends, and emphasizing creativity, are important antecedents for EI among Norwegian women. These factors have no impact on Slovak women’s EI. The wish for a secure future has a negative impact on Norwegian women’s EI, but no impact on Slovak women. We have three recommendations for increasing EI among young women, one common for both countries and one individual recommendation for each country. The common recommendation is to build and support leadership ambitions and proactive abilities among young women. For Norwegian women in particular, schools must develop creative talents and reduce the negative impact of the wish for a secure future. Connecting to positive role models is also important for Norwegian women. For Slovak women, the wish for autonomy is crucial for their EI. Therefore, Slovak schools should have programs to support this wish.