Characteristics of Female Entrepreneurs & their Businesses

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Frame of Reference

Credit Request Theory

Under this heading, theories regarding female entrepreneurs as demanders of capital for their businesses will be presented where the history of women‟s business enterprising and characteristics of female entrepreneurs and their businesses will be discussed.

History of Women’s Business Enterprising

The fact that we have less female than male entrepreneurs is not a strange occurrence if one takes into consideration that in 1940, women accounted for less than 26% of the entire workforce in the United States. At that time, women were mainly working at home, taking care of the household and children and if they worked, it was mainly at part-time jobs. Women‟s job was often put in second place, compared with household duties, and thus they earned lower wages. After the 1960s, there were major changes in the economical, social and political thinking which made women more accepted in the business world. Furthermore, liberalization of women and sex discriminating laws acting in favour of female entrepreneurship were established. Women became more accepted and got a bigger share of the workforce, which also affected female entrepreneurship. (Hisrich & Brush, 1986) Women in Sweden have throughout history been entrepreneurial. Yet, it was not until 1921 that women were seen as discovertures and were allowed to run companies with the permission from their husbands (Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, 2010).Nowadays, one can see a shift from a managed economy to a more entrepreneurial economy in most developed economies (Verheul & Thurik, 2001). Entrepreneurial activity is perceived as a driving force of economic development and opens space for the participation of women as entrepreneurs (Verheul & Thurik, 2001). The increasing number of female entrepreneurs can be seen as both a social and an economic change, which in turn is an inclination of a changing society (Birley, 1989). Furthermore, the increase can partly be due to the shift from a production economy to a service economy and as an expression for a more economically equal society (Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth,2010). Today, the number of small businesses run by female entrepreneurs in Sweden is about 25% and women account for about 32% of the start-up of new businesses (Regeringskansliet, 2010c). The growth of the small business sector is largely characterized by the increase of female entrepreneurs (Coleman & Robb, 2009).

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Characteristics of Female Entrepreneurs & their Businesses

Motives for Starting a Business

According to Hisrich and Brush (1986), the primary motive for women to start their own business is the need for achievement and to get job satisfaction, the desire to be independent as well as the economic necessity. Further motives are the avoidance of having a low paid occupation and being supervised (Birley, 1989). While men are motivated by profits and growth of the firm, women‟s intentions with their business venturing tend to be more of a search for personal fulfilment (Coleman & Robb, 2009). As oppose to this, Birley (1989) states that women have the same motivational factors as men when it comes to making money. The only difference between male and female characteristics is selfconfidence, where women seem to have lower self-confidence than male entrepreneurs (Birley, 1989).

1 Introduction
1.1 Background 
1.2 Increasing the Proportion of Female Entrepreneurs 
1.3 Banks as Suppliers of Money 
1.4 Problem Discussion
1.5 Purpose
1.6 Delimitations
1.7 Definitions of Key Concepts
1.8 Structure of the Thesis 
2 Frame of Reference
2.1 Credit Request Theory 
2.1.1 History of Women’s Business Enterprising
2.1.2 Characteristics of Female Entrepreneurs & their Businesses
2.2 Credit Supply Theory
2.2.1 Banks as Providers of External Capital
2.3 Bourdieu’s Theory of Practice
2.4 Summary of Theoretical Discussion 
3 Method
3.1 Research Perspective 
3.1.1 Ethnomethodology
3.1.2 The Social Construction of Reality
3.2 Data Collection Method 
3.2.1 Narrative Research
3.2.2 Conversations – Narrating
3.3 Data Analysis
3.3.1 Implications of an Ethnomethodological Research Approach
3.3.2 Implications of a Narrative Research of Experiences
3.3.3 Data Analysis Procedure
3.4 Data Quality
3.4.1 Validity
4 Empirical Findings
4.1 Women Entrepreneurs’ Own Experiences
4.2 Banks’ Perception of Women Entrepreneurs
4.3 The View given by Business Organizations
5 Analysis 
5.1 Model of Analysis 
5.1.1 Micro Analysis
5.1.2 Macro Analysis
6 Conclusion
6.1 Critique of Study and Method 
6.2 Further Research


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