The Woman Entrepreneur: Management Skills and Business Problems

Posted: 17 Nov 2009

See all articles by Robert Hisrich

Robert Hisrich

Thunderbird, School of Global Management - Walker Center for Global Entrepreneurship

Candy Brush

Babson College - Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship

Date Written: 1984

Abstract

Studies female entrepreneurs in order to identify obstacles that women face in business and to explore means of improvement. Though the number of self-employed women has been increasing dramatically - from 1.7 million in 1977 to 2.3 million in 1982 - the vast majority of studies of entrepreneurs are still narrowly focused on non-minority men. In an effort to expand the research on entrepreneurial women, this study questions 468 self-employed women in 18 states, assessing demographics, the nature of their business ventures, and the problems they encounter. According to this research, the "typical" female entrepreneur is married with children, herself the first-born child of middle class parents. Her business is most likely to be service-oriented, and she tends to start it around the age of 40. Obstacles include problems with finance and credit, as well as lack of business and financial planning training. Consequently, most of the businesses are small with low growth rates and revenues. According to the business owners themselves, in order to further develop women's role in business, stereotypes need to be eliminated concerning women as entrepreneurs, and more visible role models and mentors for younger women are needed. The analysis concludes with specific recommendations for improvement: (1) Women should be encouraged to study in fields other than liberal arts. (2) Women should have access to seminars on finance, management, marketing, etc. (3) Women should seek assistance from experts, colleagues, and friends to establish formal and informal networks. (CJC)

Keywords: Stereotypes, Role models, Business assistance, Management skills, Female entrepreneurs, Access to capital, Gender, Mentoring, Barriers to entry, Demographics

Suggested Citation

Hisrich, Robert and Brush, Candida, The Woman Entrepreneur: Management Skills and Business Problems (1984). Journal of Small Business Management, Vol. 22, Issue 1, p. 30-37 1984. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1505240

Robert Hisrich (Contact Author)

Thunderbird, School of Global Management - Walker Center for Global Entrepreneurship ( email )

1 Global Place
Glendale, AZ 85306
United States

Candida Brush

Babson College - Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship ( email )

Babson Park, MA 02457-0310
United States

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