Women entrepreneurship in small service firms: motivations, barriers and performance
This article presents an exploratory study on the characteristics of women entrepreneurs and the businesses they run in the Valencia region. Following a close look at the evolution of literature on women entrepreneurs, the study shows how different internal and external factors affect the motivation, obstacles and performance of firms created by women. These results contribute towards a better understanding of business creation by women as they provide an empirical contrast of these variables (motivation, barriers and performance). Purpose : The purpose of this paper is to examine the characteristics of women entrepreneurs and the businesses they run in the Valencia Region of Spain, in order to contribute towards a better understanding of business creation by women, and the elements of motivation, barriers and success that influence and characterize the activities of women entrepreneurs. Design/methodology/approach : A random sample of businesses with women founders, in the service sector located in the Valencia Region, were surveyed with a personalized questionnaire focusing on the factors of expansion, financing, marital and family status. Findings : The results of the exploratory research show that different internal and external factors affect the motivation, obstacles to success and performance of firms created by women. It is clear that type of financial support, demographic factors, age at which the new business venture is undertaken, use of family loans and the initial size of firm are all instrumental in subsequent business success. Research limitations/implications : The research was undertaken using a relatively small sample of firms in one region of Spain. The study needs to replicated in a range of different countries in order to further test the generality and generalizability of the substantive results. The implications centre on women entrepreneurs' motivations, business success and failure. Originality/value : This paper contributes to a better understanding of business creation by women and the factors which are instrumental in their success, together with a better understanding of the potential obstacles and barriers.
Volume (Year): 32 (2012)
Issue (Month): 15 (January)
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