Date of this Version
Journal of Women in Educational Leadership, Vol. 6, No.2-April 2008 ISSN: 1541-6224
Motivated, visionary, energetic, hard working, creative, tough-minded, responsible, inspiring. Do these words describe leaders or entrepreneurs or both? This paper summarizes research conducted in the fields of leadership and entrepreneurship throughout the past 30 years, attempting to identify similarities and differences between female leaders and entrepreneurs. The purpose is to use what is found to develop recommendations and strategies designed to strengthen leadership and entrepreneurship education. Those of us who teach economics introduce and discuss the factors of production: raw materials, labor, capital, and entrepreneurial ability. The first three are tangible and relatively easy to explain; however, the fourth, entrepreneurial ability, while more difficult to conceptualize in a college classroom, may be the most powerful of the four factors. "Entrepreneurship is the process of creating something different with value by devoting the necessary time and effort ... and receiving the resulting rewards of monetary and personal satisfaction" (Hisrich, 1990, p. 209). However, does entrepreneurial ability stand alone or is it dependent on leadership skills in order to be effective? Leadership, which has been studied since the time of Aristotle, is about process, influence, and achieving goals (Northouse, 2004). This process includes leaders, followers, and the relationships that emerge and grow through influence tactics displayed within evolving situations. Leadership is adaptive and produces change. It, too, is challenging to conceptualize in the classroom. So, can all leaders be considered entrepreneurs or can all entrepreneurs be thought of as leaders? And, what role, if any, does gender play in this discussion?