Feminist entrepreneurship for climate action

Author/editor: Elise Stephenson and Sarah Furman
Year published: 2023


Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing society today and it’s a “threat multiplier” for existing gender (and other) inequalities – meaning women and marginalised groups are most at risk of climate disasters. Climate entrepreneurship has been identified as a key approach to tackle the climate emergency, yet gender has been notably absent from the conversation. This is problematic because entrepreneurship is not “gender neutral” and without dedicated focus and a gendered “lens” applied to these common entrepreneurial models, systemic gender inequalities will continue to be embedded and gendered issues will continue to be overlooked as practices are developed to tackle climate change. Not only is this bad news for gender equality, but it also hinders the effectiveness of these approaches for tackling the climate emergency – it’s a lose-lose.

The literature on climate entrepreneurship is burgeoning, yet key entrepreneurial concepts lack an explicitly feminist or gender lens approach, even whilst being inextricably linked to effective climate action. In this literature review, Elise Stephenson and Sarah Furman seek to rectify this gap by promoting climate just entrepreneurship as a model for effective climate action.Through analysing the literature for critical gaps and exploring the intersection of climate entrepreneurship and feminist, first nations and queer theories, the authors advocate that a framework for climate just entrepreneurship could play a pivotal role in combining proactive climate action and gender equality measures through entrepreneurship. It could also be a significant step towards ensuring entrenched, systemic inequalities are not perpetuated in nascent and rapidly evolving fields such as the circular economy, social enterprise and climate entrepreneurship.



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