Published: 21 March 2018

EU funding success for study on women entrepreneurs

Two academics have been awarded a prestigious €195,000 Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellowship to investigate the barriers faced by women entrepreneurs in the tourism industry.

Woman underneath lightbulbs

Professor Allan Williams and Dr Cristina Figueroa Domecq will work in collaboration with Dr Albert Kimbu and Dr Anna de Jong, who are all members of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

The funding provides for Cristina to be employed as a Research Fellow at Surrey for two years, looking at the problems women in the UK and Spain encounter and what help is available to potential and actual female entrepreneurs.

This is a pressing issue because a study in 37 European countries revealed that not only women do account for just 29% of entrepreneurs in any field, but that represented a 1% decrease since 2008. Even in tourism, it is estimated that only one third of entrepreneurs are women. The researchers will analyse the different pathways undertaken by women entrepreneurs in Spain and the UK, survey potential entrepreneurs among final-year university students, interview samples of men and women entrepreneurs, and analyse their use of social media. 

Cristina will work closely with a number of policy and industry bodies in these two countries.  

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellowship Programme, named after the double Nobel Prize -winning Polish-French scientist famed for her work on radioactivity, supports researchers at all stages of their careers, irrespective of nationality.

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