Building on theories of practice, cultural difference and institutional welfare regimes, we explore how gendered entrepreneurship rates are affected by both soft (values, beliefs, and expectations) and hard (institutionalized norms and practices) measures of culture. Using 2001 GEM data, we examine how institutional arrangements related to women’s employment (role of occupational segregation, gender wage inequality, female business leadership and public childcare support) interact with individual-level perceptions in ways that increase women’s start-up across thirteen countries. Results suggest that gender wage inequality has a direct effect on the decision to start a business, while industry structure and the presence of childcare may influence the decision to start a business indirectly through perceptions and gender.