Central College professor publishes research on female entrepreneurship in developing countries | KNIA KRLS radio

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Stavros Papakonstantinidis, associate professor of communication studies at Central College, co-authored a chapter published in “The Emerald Handbook of Women and Entrepreneurship in Developing Economies”.

“The Emerald Handbook of Women and Entrepreneurship in Developing Economies” examines the roles of women in entrepreneurial practices in a range of developing countries by analyzing, interpreting and understanding certain themes and issues. The book brings together a global range of scholarly voices to examine women and entrepreneurship in developing countries, exploring their practices and motivations in relation to individual, societal and institutional factors. Gender roles, role models and entrepreneurial ecosystems are questions the book aims to challenge.

The chapter, titled “Digital Natives Entrepreneurial Mindset: A Comparative Study in Emerging Markets”, analyzes entrepreneurial cultural and social differences between men and women in Kuwait and Serbia, with an emphasis on digital marketing strategies. It was co-authored by Piotr Kwiatek, Associate Professor at Kozminski University in Warsaw, Poland, and Radoslav Baltezarevic, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Scientific Research and Professor of Marketing, Communication and Management at Megatrend University from Belgrade, Serbia.

“My research journey is to understand how people believed to be Generation Z, or digital natives, use technology,” says Papakonstantinidis.

The study focuses on men and women between the ages of 18 and 25 and measures both their ability and their desire to own a business. The book asserts that socialized gender roles, not biological gender, play an important role in entrepreneurship.

The study shows that women in both countries display a positive attitude towards using social media for entrepreneurial activities. Although technology boosts emotional intelligence, women would like to receive more advice and encouragement to feel more confident in starting a business.

“Women think they need more autonomy and education to start their own business, while men generally feel the opposite,” says Papakonstantinidis. “The Middle East is a male-dominated society, so they don’t feel like they need expert advice outside of their family. Women see entrepreneurship as a way to break gender stereotypes in the Middle East.

“The study shows that most women would prefer to run their own businesses from home, like cooking or making jewelry, because culturally that’s what they are most comfortable with,” adds Papakonstantinidis. “Entrepreneurship gives women the opportunity to work and not depend on the state or on the income of their father or husband. “

While Papakonstantinidis doesn’t necessarily see the study as a breakthrough, he says it shows how entrepreneurship can be used to disrupt social stereotypes.

“This study identifies a need for young women seeking social and economic opportunities,” says Papakonstantinidis. “Female entrepreneurship has been identified as an engine of economic development for these countries.

This research is ongoing and will continue to explore effective methods to encourage entrepreneurship in emerging markets.

Papakonstantinidis received his bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at New Paltz; his master’s degree from Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York; and his doctorate from the University of Leicester, UK. His expertise includes digital, strategic and organizational communications, public relations and advertising. This is his first semester of teaching at Central.


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