Call for papers – Special Issue of the International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing – “Concepts and Facets of Entrepreneurial Diversity”


Guest Editors: Kerstin Ettl, University of Siegen, Germany Siegrun Brink, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung Bonn, Germany Silke Tegtmeier, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark Monder Ram, Aston University, UK

If you think about entrepreneurship, which picture comes to your mind? Whom would you call an entrepreneur? What characterizes that person? What characterizes the company? The variety of answers on that might be as multifaceted as the number of people wondering about it. Why? More than 30 years ago, Gartner (1985: 696) spotted that “differences among entrepreneurs and among their ventures are as great as the variation between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs and between new firms and established firms.” This statement is still true: It is impossible to universalize entrepreneurship – entrepreneurship is about variation and it varies in different dimensions (Welter et al., 2016).

Not only in relation to entrepreneurship, but also in relation to various other societal and political contexts, the buzzword ‘diversity’ is in the spotlight. Interestingly, in scholarly as well as political discussion, one question often remains unanswered: what exactly is meant when we talk about ‘diversity’? The roots of the term ‘diversity’, as it is used in current political and societal discussions, are in sociological research. Here the term diversity is not just a synonym for heterogeneity, variety or multiplicity. Within the framing of ‘diversity’, sociological researchers analyse and value the heterogeneity of individuals in relation to specific characteristics – so-called diversity categories or diversity dimensions. They address largely stable demographic dimensions such as gender, age, migration and physical ability; external, changeable dimensions such as income, work experience and personal habits; and organisational dimensions such as work location, management status and seniority (Gardenswartz and Rowe 2002). Based on these and other diversity categories, researchers investigate teams, companies, institutions and all kinds of other groups.

Following Bögenhold and Fachinger (2011), entrepreneurial diversity addresses different facets of the social and occupational variety. Many of these facets, especially demographic dimensions, have been investigated in recent research, for instance gender (Frigotto and Della Nives, 2018; Kanze et al., 2018; Marlow and Martinez Dy, 2018; Spiegler and Halberstadt, 2018; Tegtmeier and Kurczewska, 2017) and migration (Etemad, 2018; Ram et al., 2017) and disability (Antshel, 2018; Wiklund et al., 2018). Surprisingly, entrepreneurship research has not yet tried to explore facets of entrepreneurial diversity in a holistic conceptual way. Existing sociological diversity concepts have not (yet) been adapted to the entrepreneurship research context, and diversity-related levels of analysis are not (yet) defined clearly in this regard. In order to capture the uniqueness of each entrepreneurial situation, we agree with Welter et al. (2017), who emphasised entrepreneurial diversity and claimed that future research must try to indicate the variety in the phenomenon of entrepreneurship more adequately.

Against this background, this special issue will address the aforementioned research gap, and aims to look at conceptual framings as well as different facets of entrepreneurial diversity. In doing so, it aims to serve as a basis of discussion for future research into entrepreneurial diversity. Furthermore, it will help in making research concerning entrepreneurial diversity relevant to other scientific, political and societal diversity discussions.

We welcome high-quality manuscripts looking at entrepreneurial diversity from different perspectives – either globally or in different facets of diversity. Manuscripts can be international in scope or can look at domestic issues with global relevance. Conceptual and empirical papers, from different analytical and methodological perspectives can be submitted. We welcome theoretical, qualitative, quantitative and mixed-method papers. Together, the papers should build a body of high-quality, cumulative research that recapitulates and extends our current knowledge concerning entrepreneurial diversity.

Suitable topics include, but are not limited, to the following:

Conceptual framings of entrepreneurial diversity: What is meant when we talk about entrepreneurial diversity? What aspects do we need to consider when we talk about entrepreneurial diversity? How does conceptualising entrepreneurial diversity bring our research field forward? How can we better connect entrepreneurship research to current societal and political debates about diversity? Are there frameworks within other disciplines (for example human resource management) we can build on? Does, and if so how, does taking sociological diversity concepts into account help to understand and explain entrepreneurial diversity? How can we adequately investigate and measure entrepreneurial diversity?

Facets of entrepreneurial diversity: What do we know about single diversity categories such as (but not limited to) age, race, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, income, work experiences, personal habits, work location, management status and seniority? How are single categories positioned within the framing of diversity? How is research about entrepreneurial diversity influenced through the internationality of our research community? How does the relevance of different diversity categories differ between contexts?

Intersectionality of diversity dimensions: How do different dimensions relevant to drawing a picture of entrepreneurial diversity intersect? How does research about intersectionality feed into entrepreneurship research?

Tensions related to entrepreneurial diversity in different contexts: Which tensions does diversity create in different contexts? How can an acceptance of difference be reached in different diversity categories? Which role does the specific context play?


Notes for Prospective Authors

 Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. (N.B. Conference papers may only be submitted if the paper has been completely re-written and if appropriate written permissions have been obtained from any copyright holders of the original paper).

  • All papers are refereed through a peer review process.
  • All papers must be submitted online. To submit a paper, please read our Submitting articles page.
  • If you have any queries concerning this special issue, please email Kerstin Ettl at Siegrun Brink at Silke Tegtmeier at Monder Ram at


Voluntary submission to the RENT Conference 2019

  • There will be a special track on “Concepts and Facets of Entrepreneurial Diversity” at the RENT Conference 2019 with the chance to meet the editors of this special issue. There will be the option to choose this track when submitting a RENT abstract and paper.
  • Papers submitted and accepted for this special track will be given developmental feedback for finalising the papers for submission to the special issue. Nevertheless, submission and acceptance for the RENT Conference is not necessary for submission to the special issue, and every paper submitted to the conference has to undergo the regular double-blind review process for the journal after the conference.
  • The deadline for submission of abstracts for the special track via the conference’s submission system is 15 May, 2019.
  • The deadline for submission of full papers to the conference after notification of acceptance is 1 October, 2019.


Important Dates

  • Manuscripts due by: 1 November – 31 December, 2019
  • Notification to authors (1st round): 28 February, 2020
  • First revised manuscript due by: 30 April, 2019
  • Notification to authors (2nd round): 28 February, 2020
  • Final versions due by: 31 August, 2020


Antshel KM (2018) Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Entrepreneurship. Academy of Management Perspectives 32(2): 243–265.

Bögenhold D and Fachinger U (2011) Entrepreneurial Diversity: Theoretische und empirische Beleuchtungen der Heterogenität beruflicher Selbständigkeit in Deutschland. Zeitschrift für KMU und Entrepreneurship 59(4): 251–272.

Etemad H (2018) Advances and challenges in the evolving field of international entrepreneurship: The case of migrant and diaspora entrepreneurs. Journal of International Entrepreneurship 16(2): 109–118.

Frigotto ML and Della Nives V (2018) Gender and the structuring of the entrepreneurial venture: an effectuation approach. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing 10(4): 412–434.

Gartner WB (1985) A Conceptual Framework for Describing the Phenomenon of New Venture Creation. Academy of Management Review 10(4): 696–706.

Kanze D, Huang L, Conley MA, et al. (2018) We Ask Men to Win and Women Not to Lose: Closing the Gender Gap in Startup Funding. Academy of Management Journal 61(2): 586–614.

Marlow S and Martinez Dy A (2018) Annual review article: Is it time to rethink the gender agenda in entrepreneurship research? International Small Business Journal: Researching Entrepreneurship 36(1): 3–22.

Ram M, Jones T and Villares-Varela M (2017) Migrant entrepreneurship: Reflections on research and practice. International Small Business Journal 35(1): 3–18.

Spiegler AB and Halberstadt J (2018) SHEstainability: how relationship networks influence the idea generation in opportunity recognition process by female social entrepreneurs. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing 10(2): 202–235.

Tegtmeier S and Kurczewska A (2017) Business entry and window of opportunity – empirical results for women entrepreneurs with graduate degree. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing 9(1): 41–59.

Welter F, Baker T, Audretsch DB, et al. (2017) Everyday Entrepreneurship—A Call for Entrepreneurship Research to Embrace Entrepreneurial Diversity. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice 41(3): 305–468.

Welter F, Gartner WB and Wright M (2016) The context of contextualising contexts. In: Welter F and Gartner WB (eds) A Research Agenda for Entrepreneurship and Context: Cheltenham, UK, Nothampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar, pp. 1–15.

Wiklund J, Hatak I, Patzelt H, et al. (2018) Mental Disorders in the Entrepreneurship Context: When Being Different Can Be An Advantage. Academy of Management Perspectives 32(2): 182–206.


Link to the Call on IJEV Webpage:

ISSN Print: 1742-5360

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