While there is a growing body of work at the country level related to gender dimension of entrepreneurship, surprisingly little has yet been attempted to enhance our understanding of the impact of alternative national business and cultural environments on female entrepreneurship. We develop hypotheses to explain how institutional variation might impact differently on male and female entrepreneurship. In particular we hypothesise that women are less likely than men to undertake entrepreneurial activity in countries where the rule of law is weaker and the state sector is larger. We further consider how institutions affect the probabilities of men and women to aspire to higher growth projects, and analyse in detail the differential impact of gender specific aspects of the rule of law on male and female entrepreneurship and on higher aspiration growth projects.