Improving the numbers and performance of women-owned businesses: some implications for training and advisory services
The importance of women as a largely untapped pool of entrepreneurs has been widely recognised by economic development agencies. However, despite a number of initiatives designed to stimulate female self-employment, relatively few women are starting in business. Research has shown that the experience of business ownership for women is very different than for men. While early studies of female entrepreneurship suggested that the start up period posed particular constraints for women, it was assumed that these barriers were resolved once trading commenced. The use of more sophisticated methodologies and sampling strategies has revealed profound gender differences in both women's experiences of business ownership and the performance of women owned firms. Some of the key research findings which have emerged from gender based studies of business ownership are outlined, and the implications of these findings for training and advisory services dealing with the small business sector are examined.
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