Corinne Poroli is an Associate Professor of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship at SKEMA Business School. She is a researcher at the SKEMA Centre for Sustainability Studies. She is General Secretary of Academy of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (AEI). Her research interests lie in Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurial Leadership and Gender.  

Could you tell us more about your field of research, particularly Women Entrepreneurship? 

My initial field of research was entrepreneurship. 15 years ago, I met with Stephanie Chasserio, who specialised in gender in organisations. After sharing our ideas and research, we decided to work together on women’s entrepreneurship using our two respective areas of expertise. I soon had the opportunity to present our first proposition at the Gender, Work and Organization (GWO) Conference and to attend several sociology workshops and seminars at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) devoted to gender issues. It was a revelation. I was convinced that I needed to question and rediscuss my research on entrepreneurship from a gendered perspective. Women’s entrepreneurship then became my new research topic for a long time to come.  

What results surprised you the most? 

It is fascinating to conduct in-depth research interviews with over a hundred women entrepreneurs and to discover the great diversity of their profiles, industries, aims for their companies and vision of entrepreneurial success. Contrary to popular belief, women entrepreneurs are far from being a homogeneous group! 

On top of that, the ability of these women entrepreneurs to deal with numerous and various identities (as entrepreneurs of course, but also as mothers, wives, women and change agents) never ceases to amaze me. Our findings reveal their day-to-day strategies for accommodating different roles and describe how their entrepreneurial activity is intertwined with their personal and social lives. 

What is the research you are currently carrying out? 

I am currently carrying out several research projects, all focusing on entrepreneurship and gender, with various colleagues inside and outside SKEMA, to explore more specifically: 1. high-growth women entrepreneurs’ experiences with entrepreneurial leadership, 2. impact of crises on men and women entrepreneurs with a gendered lens, 3. diffusion of entrepreneurial institutional logics through entrepreneurial support organisations with a gendered analysis, and 4. influence of female role models on the career perspectives and leader identity development of young female SKEMA students through a “Vis ma vie” experience with Eliane Bacha, Stephanie Chasserio and Philippe Pailot.  

How does this study impact society at large? 

At a time of economic, social, ecological, climatological and societal upheaval, it makes sense to question the traditional model of entrepreneurship. Crises pose major challenges for entrepreneurs and SMEs, but they are also propitious moments for different types of transformation. It is therefore essential to highlight the ways in which women entrepreneurs, in all their diversity, can be sources of inspiration for re-questioning entrepreneurship, its opportunities and its challenges. Indeed, while women entrepreneurs help us to question the new stakes and challenges of entrepreneurship, studying their backgrounds, experiences and realities also enables men who don’t fit the stereotypical profile of the entrepreneur to find themselves. 

Moreover, our research sheds light on the public policies dedicated to entrepreneurial support and offers recommendations for public actors who support entrepreneurship. 

Research on gender and entrepreneurship fosters a more inclusive and dynamic economic landscape, and promotes gender equality in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. It also challenges stereotypes and shifts societal norms about gender roles. 

Fermer le menu