Wāhine Māori in Entrepreneurial Leadership

This PhD opportunity has a focus on wāhine Māori experiences in the entrepreneurial leadership space. The proposed research aims to explore and address the unique challenges and opportunities that wāhine Māori encounter in the field of entrepreneurship and as leaders in their fields. By examining experiences, strengths, and cultural perspectives, this research seeks to foster sustainable entrepreneurship and leadership development to empower Māori entrepreneurship. The PhD opportunity will be interdisciplinary, combining tikanga Māori, leadership, psychology/ wellbeing, as applied to the entrepreneurial landscape in Aotearoa. Ultimately, the PhD aims to enhance the understanding and promotion of entrepreneurial leadership among wāhine Māori. The proposed research will employ a mixed-methods approach, integrating mātauranga Māori/Kaupapa Māori perspectives along with a quantitative component. The mātauranga Māori perspective will include in-depth interviews, wananga, focus groups, to capture the lived experiences and narratives of Māori women entrepreneurs. The quantitative component will include surveys and statistical analysis to gather data on entrepreneurial leadership activities, and outcomes.

The successful applicant will be under the supervision of Professor Maree Roche (30%), Dr Kiri Dell (35%), Professor Christine Woods (35%).

Gender and entrepreneurial finance – exploring demand and supply relationships

One in three business owners in NZ is female (MasterCard Index 2019), yet only 18% of angel investment goes to female founders and co-founders (AANZ 2018). This is despite the global finding that women entrepreneurs generate more revenue than their male counterparts despite receiving lower financial backing (Boston Consulting Group, 2018). The most recent European statistics have reported a worsening effect in these trends from 2020 due to the COVID-19 global pandemic and in the USA venture capital funding for female founders in 2021 hit its lowest quarterly total in three years. This is clearly an equity, diversity and inclusivity (EDI) issue for entrepreneurial ecosystems globally, despite efforts to address the imbalance and representation.

Against this backdrop, a starting point for this thesis critically challenges the notion that entrepreneurship is a meritocratic field of agentic activity. Using gender as a critical lens, this study will explore the NZ entrepreneurial finance ecosystem which can encompass venture capital, private equity, angel finance, and crowdfunding, among other forms of finance. More importantly, the study seeks to better uncover the role of gender and how it interacts in entrepreneur (demand) – investor (supply) relationships. Therefore, acknowledging that gender is embedded in entrepreneur-financier relationships that are inherently more complex than observed differences between men and women is fundamental to the development of this PhD topic.

Expressions of interest are welcome from students with a prior masters degree with a GPA of 7.00 or higher. Contact Chris Woods.