Call for Papers

For a Special Issue of

Asia Business & Management:

Female Entrepreneurship in Asia

Submission deadline: November 15, 2018


Guest Editors

Jie Wu, University of Macau

Steven Si, Zhejiang University

Chunhua Chen, Peking University

Julio de Castro, IE University


An important ethical issue for today is the provision of equal opportunity for both men and women to achieve their full potential at all levels of organizations and society. The historical scarcity of women at the highest levels of organizations has been attributed to so-called “glass ceilings”—invisible barriers which prevent women from ascending the corporate ladder beyond a certain point (Morrison, White, & Van Velsor, 1987; Oakley, 2000). This metaphor is still useful today, as only 5.2% of the chief executive officers of American S&P 500 firms are women (Catalyst, 2018). The percentages are similar in other countries, including China where about 4.5% of CEO positions in listed Chinese companies are held by women (Ying, 2014). One would expect the number to be lower in the near and Middle East.


This issue is more salient and pressing in the context of entrepreneurship where women might be expected to be able to define their own ceilings. What is the role of women in entrepreneurship in Asia? Is entrepreneurship effective in changing Asian women’s roles? What are the implications for economic development in Asia? Rapid economic growth in this region has allowed large numbers of women more independence. The literature on women’s status in society addresses a number of interesting issues (Brush, 1992). For instance, how does the legal framework regulate women’s activity in prescribing how different practices are defined and carried out? Especially important are family responsibilities, socially acceptable behavior, and women’s access to education, but there are many others. Female entrepreneurs might redefine glass ceilings by mobilizing their knowledge and resources (Amatucci & Sohl, 2004; Winn, 2004) if the legal system will allow it. There is also the important question of how incentives or difficulties faced by female entrepreneurs with limited resources shape their decisions to undertake an entrepreneurial venture. Doing so often conflicts with women’s conventional social status and their assumed role in the family. How do women entrepreneurs reconcile their multiple social roles? All these interesting and important questions need to be further explored from an Asian point of view (Alsos, Isaksen & Ljunggren, 2006; Steyaert & Katz, 2004; Wu, Si, & Wu, 2016).


Entrepreneurial success or failure is of course critical. Unfortunately, there remains a lack of clarity about how entrepreneurial success or failure is to be understood in the context of Asian female entrepreneurship (Wu & Si, 2018). This is an important issue because how entrepreneurial success and failure are perceived influences the relevance of research questions posed and the comparability of findings across studies with different perspectives. The perceptions influence the aspiring entrepreneurs’ decisions whether or not to try again. Success and failure can be regarded as firm matters or as personal, and success in particular can be viewed objectively or subjectively. The differences are important to female entrepreneurs themselves (Orser, Riding, & Manley, 2006), particularly Chinese female entrepreneurs given China’s wider economic success. Among startups worldwide the success rate is high, but the failure rate is higher. However, little is known about female entrepreneurship’s success rate in Asia, which is important if we are to better understand and more deeply explore the success and failure of female entrepreneurship in Asia.

This special issue seeks to air new insights and valuable analyses of female entrepreneurship in Asia. The aim to introduce new analyses and new insights to scholars who can then better address the issue of female entrepreneurship. That will allow for a rich range of topics to be included in the special issue as we look at new approaches to this important topic. Both qualitative and quantitative methodological approaches and research designs are welcome. Empirical papers are encouraged. 


This is a call for papers which discuss female entrepreneurship in Asia. Possible research questions that would suit this special issue include, but are not limited to the following:

•             What is the role of women in entrepreneurship in Asia? How best to explore and study it?

•             How does female entrepreneurship in emerging economies differ from those which are better developed?

•             How might entrepreneurship change women’s roles to improve society and promote Asia’s economic development?

•             Which institutional factors are critical for success in female entrepreneurship? 

•             Are there any unique links between female entrepreneurship and institutions in Asia?

•             To what extent might the burgeoning digital sharing economy promote female entrepreneurship?

•             Which “macro” and “micro” factors are most influential in determining the success or failure of Asian women’s entrepreneurial initiatives?

•             Which networks and alliances are most closely related to female entrepreneurs’ success or failure?

•             What is the role of micro-finance and informal financing in female entrepreneurship and how does it impact the chances of success or failure?


Submission Process

To be considered for the special issue, manuscripts must be submitted by November 15, 2018 via To ensure that all manuscripts are correctly identified as being submitted for this special issue, please select ‘SI: Female Entrepreneurship’ when you reach the “Article Type” step in the online submission process. Authors should prepare their manuscript according to the guidelines of Asian Business & Management, see:

Submitted papers will be reviewed through a double-blind peer review process. For enquiries, please contact Jie Wu at [log in to unmask] We welcome your submissions.




Alsos, G.A.,  Isaksen, E.J. & Ljunggren, E. (2006). New venture financing and subsequent business growth in men- and women-led businesses. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 30 (5): 667–686.

Amatucci, F. M. & Sohl, J. E. (2004). Women entrepreneurs securing business angel financing: Tales from the field. Venture Capital, 6 (2-3): 181–196.

Anonymous (2018). Pyramid: Women in S&P 500 companies. Catalyst February 2.

Brush, C.G. (1992). Research on women business owners: Past trends, a new perspective, and future direction. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 16 (4): 5–30.

Morrison, A. M., White, R.P. & Van Velsor, E. (1987). Breaking the glass ceiling:  Can women reach the top of America’s largest corporations?  Reading, MA:  Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.

Oakley, J.G. (2000). Gender-based barriers to senior management positions: Understanding the scarcity of female CEOs. Journal of Business Ethics, 27(4), 321–334.

Orser, B.J.,  Riding,  A.L. & Manley, K.  (2006). Women entrepreneurs and financial capital. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 30 (5): 643–665.

Steyaert, C. & Katz, J. (2004). Reclaiming the space of entrepreneurship in society: Geographical, discursive and social dimensions. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 16 (3): 179–196.  

Winn, J. (2004). Entrepreneurship: Not an easy path to top management for women. Women in Management Review, 19 (3): 143–153.

Wu, J., Si, S. (2018) A new view of and solution to poverty reduction through entrepreneurs’ incentives, social networks and sustainability. Asian Business & Management, accepted.

Wu, J., Si, S. & Wu, XB. (2016) Entrepreneurial finance and innovation: Informal debt as an empirical case. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 10 (3): 257–273.

Ying, F. (2014). Female CEOs in China: Future looks brighter. China Business Knowledge,

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