Abstract

In the present study, we contribute to and extend research exploring gender differences within the entrepreneurial context of business incubators by examining how male and female tenants differ in their experiences of incubator loneliness. We focus on loneliness as a relevant entrepreneurial outcome for two reasons. First, the nature of the entrepreneurial process, particularly in earlystage venturing, is often fraught with loneliness as entrepreneurs are expected to dedicate intense amounts of their time and energy into the development and launch of their venture. Second, a key benefit often touted for business incubator tenancies is the social interactions that occur among incubator tenants as well as between tenants and staff (Patton, 2014). Commiserating with individuals who are experiencing similar challenges could ease some of the stressors and loneliness that come along with entrepreneurship (Mulki, et al., 2008). Thus, understanding entrepreneurial loneliness can help uncover methods for facilitating healthier work environments for entrepreneurs in those crucial early stages.

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