Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration

First Advisor

Maureen A. Scully

Second Advisor

David L. Levy

Third Advisor

Banu Ozkazanc-Pan


Initial research has shown how male and heroic idealism of the entrepreneur (Ahl, 2006), the gendering of entrepreneurial ecosystems (Özkazanç-Pan & Muntean, 2021), and societal racism (Wingfield, 2008), contribute to othering conditions for entrepreneurs who are not white and male (Ahl, 2006). Not only does this othering effect create interlocking and compounded barriers, (Collins and Blige, 2016), but a diverse perspective of how-to entrepreneur is lost amidst dominant discourse and homogenous norms. To disrupt this patriarchal mold, this dissertation investigates: How does social identity shape early-stage entrepreneurship? It applies feminist theory and qualitative research methods to explore the lived experiences of women and people of color or “new majority” entrepreneurs across two, complimentary, research contexts: venture accelerators and the emerging cannabis industry. In a three-paper, multi-manuscript model, this research explores how the new majority are both influenced by, yet challenge, dominant and oppressive discourse, and norms. This research illuminates how identity shapes and is shaped by systems of power within the entrepreneurial domain. Collectively, these works present a reconceptualization of entrepreneurship as a space for activism, resistance, and feminized business practices, while offering practical insights for inclusion.