PELLA — Stavros Papakonstantinidis, associate professor of communication studies at Central College, has co-authored a chapter published in "The Emerald Handbook of Women and Entrepreneurship in Developing Economies."

"The Emerald Handbook of Women and Entrepreneurship in Developing Economies" examines women's roles in entrepreneurial practices in a range of developing countries by analyzing, interpreting and understanding certain themes and issues. The book brings a global range of scholarly voices to examine women and entrepreneurship in developing nations, exploring their practices and motivations in relation to individual, societal and institutional factors. Gender roles, role models and entrepreneurial ecosystems are issues the book aims to question.

The chapter, titled "Digital Natives Entrepreneurial Mindset: A Comparative Study in Emerging Markets," analyzes cultural and social entrepreneurial differences between men and women in Kuwait and Serbia, with a focus on digital marketing strategies. It was co-authored by Piotr Kwiatek, associate professor at Kozminski University in Warsaw, Poland, and Radoslav Baltezarevic, vice dean for graduate studies and scientific research and professor of marketing, communication and management at Megatrend University in Belgrade, Serbia.

"My research background is to understand how people who are presumed to be Generation Z, or digital natives, use technology," Papakonstantinidis says.

The study focuses on males and females ages 18-25 and measures both their ability and desire to own a business. The book states socialized gender roles, not biological gender, play an important part in entrepreneurship.

The study shows females in both countries demonstrate a positive attitude toward using social media for entrepreneurial activities. Although technology drives emotional intelligence, females would like to receive more guidance and encouragement to feel more confident to start a business.

"Women feel they need more empowerment and education to start their own business, whereas men typically feel the opposite," Papakonstantinidis says. "The Middle East is a male-dominant society, so they don't feel they need an expert opinion outside of their family. Women see entrepreneurship as a way to break away from the gender stereotypes of the Middle East.

"The study shows most women would prefer to operate their own businesses from their homes, like cooking or making jewelry, because culturally, that is what they are most comfortable with," Papakonstantinidis adds. "Entrepreneurship gives women the opportunity to work and not rely on the state or their father or husband's income.

While Papakonstantinidis doesn't necessarily see the study as a breakthrough, he says it shows how entrepreneurship can be used to disrupt social stereotypes.

"This study identifies a need for young women seeking social and economic opportunities," Papakonstantinidis says. "Women's entrepreneurship has been designated as an engine of economic development for these countries."

This research is ongoing and will continue to explore effective methods to encourage entrepreneurship in emerging markets.

Papakonstantinidis received his bachelor's degree from State University of New York at New Paltz; his M.S. from Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York; and his Ph.D. from University of Leicester, United Kingdom. His expertise includes digital, strategic and organizational communications, public relations and advertising. This is his first semester teaching at Central.

Central College of Pella, Iowa, is a private, four-year liberal arts college. Central is known for its academic rigor and leadership formation and for cultivating diversity of thought and culture through the arts and sciences, professional fields of study and experiential learning.

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