A Meta-Analysis of the Impact of Entrepreneurs’ Gender on their Access to Bank Finance

Malin Malmström*, Barbara Burkhard, Charlotta Sirén, Dean Shepherd, Joakim Wincent

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This meta-analysis of 31 studies over 20 years advances our understanding of the gender gap in entrepreneurial bank finance. Findings from previous research on the relationship between entrepreneurs’ gender and bank financing are mixed, which suggests the need to pay particular attention to entrepreneurs’ social context. In this study, we develop a model of how social gender norms explain variation in women entrepreneurs’ (vis-à-vis men entrepreneurs’) access to bank finance. Specifically, we theorize how women’s formal (their nations’ political ideologies) and informal (women’s empowerment) social standing within their societies influence gender discrimination in entrepreneurial bank financing. Consistent with most previous studies, our baseline results show that women entrepreneurs’ business loan applications are rejected to a greater extent than men entrepreneurs’ loan applications. Women entrepreneurs also pay higher interest rates on loans than men entrepreneurs. Further, in societies dominated by a conservative (rather than a liberal) political ideology, the positive relationship between women entrepreneurs and loan interest rates is more positive. Interestingly, gender discrimination in loan rejection and interest rates is magnified in societies with greater women’s empowerment. Taking a social gender-norm perspective, our analysis establishes a gender gap in entrepreneurial bank finance, and we outline an agenda for further research.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Business Ethics
Publication statusPublished - 17.10.2023
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Entrepreneurial bank finance
  • Gender bias
  • Meta-analysis


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