Gender Differences and Business Model Experimentation in European SMEs

Carolina Lopez-Nicolas, Shahrokh Nikou, Francisco-Jose Molina-Castillo, Harry Bouwman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: By drawing on various theoretical approaches and a gender perspective, this paper aims to examine business model experimentation as a step towards business model experimentation capabilities as an outcome and, as such, a key antecedent to firm performance.

    Design/methodology/approach: Using a unique data set of 444 European small and medium-sized enterprises, a structural equation model that examines is tested. Potential differences with regards to hypothesized relations are examined by splitting the overall sample into two subsamples: female-owned and nonfemale-owned companies.

    Findings: Multigroup analysis results reveal that drivers of business model experimentation and the paths linking business model experimentation to overall firm performance are different for female owners in comparison to male owners.

    Practical implications: Theoretical and practical implications are various. For SME entrepreneurs, experimenting with their BMs does lead to improved performance.

    Originality/value: Despite the increasing number of papers focusing on the relationship between business model and firm performance, the focus on female entrepreneurship, gender differences, and business model innovation, more specifically the process of business model innovation as business model experimentation, is relatively rare.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1205–1219
    JournalJournal of Business and Industrial Marketing
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 2020
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Female entrepreneurs
    • Business Model Experimentation
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
    • Business model innovation


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