Purpose: By drawing on various theoretical approaches and a gender perspective, this paper aims to examine business model (BM) experimentation as a step towards BM experimentation capabilities as an outcome and, as such, a key antecedent to firm performance. Design/methodology/approach: In this paper, using a unique data set of 444 European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the authors draw on various theoretical perspectives to devise a structural equation model that examines BM experimentation as a step towards business model innovation (BMI) as an outcome and, as such, a key antecedent to firm performance. Potential differences are examined between female-owned and non-female-owned businesses with regard to hypothesized relations. Findings: Multi-group analysis results reveal that drivers of BM experimentation and the paths linking BM experimentation to overall firm performance are different for female owners in comparison to male owners. Research limitations/implications: Theoretical and practical implications are various. For SME entrepreneurs, experimenting with their BMs does lead to improved performance. Practical implications: Theoretical and practical implications are various. For SME entrepreneurs, experimenting with their BMs does lead to improved performance. Originality/value: Despite the increasing number of papers focussing on the relationship between BM and firm performance, the focus on female entrepreneurship, gender differences and BMI, more specifically the process of BMI as BM experimentation, is relatively rare.
- Business development
- Business model experimentation
- Business model innovation
- Female entrepreneurs
- Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
- Small to medium-sized enterprises