It’s all about identity: the identity constructions of LGBT entrepreneurs from an intersectionality perspective

C. Essers, B.I.J.M. van der Heijden, Luke Fletcher, Roos Pijpers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This article illustrates how lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) entrepreneurs engage in identity construction from an intersectionality perspective. Our empirical findings suggest that the sexual identities of our interviewees are essential aspects of their daily business lives in terms of their entrepreneurial identities and their motivations, key success factors and the barriers they face. By analysing their experiences from an intersectionality perspective, we illustrate how the sexual minority entrepreneurs in our study internalise and respond to dominant societal ideas characterising ‘the entrepreneur’ as masculine, heterosexual and male, vis-à-vis ‘the homosexual’, constructed as feminine, weak and different. We discuss two predominant manifestations of their responses to these contextual forces, portrayed in their identities as entrepreneurs and sexual minorities simultaneously and the ways these identities are experienced. Our study contributes to the literature on minority entrepreneurship, specifically the LGBT entrepreneurship literature, and on intersectionality and career sustainability, focusing on how LGBT entrepreneurs conduct entrepreneurship at the intersection of their sexuality and gender.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)774-795
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Small Business Journal
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • LGBT
  • entrepreneurship
  • intersectionality
  • sexual identity
  • sustainable careers


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