Extant entrepreneurship research posits that women are more aligned with social rather than economic goals than men (Brush, 1992; Hechevarria et al., 2016). Most gender studies focus on traditional businesses and it is not clear how gender’s differences operate in other businesses such as community-based enterprises (CBEs), which are expected to be naturally oriented towards gender equality and social goals (Nippierd, 2012). We examine in CBEs how gender composition of founding teams influences the business’ initial motivations, ongoing achievements and subsequent challenges. Following Cliff ’s (2005) call, we contribute with empirical evidence in how businesses evolve at different business outcomes: motivations, achievements and challenges and whether they tend to weigh on social or economic side.

At the same time, a significant theme in the ongoing research on women-owned businesses has been the importance attached to work-family balance (Connelly, 1992), yet we know little about how the presence of women in CBEs management teams affects family policies. This study analyzes the effect of gender leadership on the implementation of these policies within the business.