Women’s Business Ownership and Entrepreneurship Through the Lens of U.S. Federal Policies

55 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2018

See all articles by Sheela Pandey

Sheela Pandey

Pennsylvania State University Harrisburg

Alejandro Amezcua

Syracuse University

Date Written: November 15, 2018


Although the U.S. is at the forefront of nations promoting women's business ownership and entrepreneurship, the role of U.S. federal policies in supporting these goals remains unexamined. This study examines six decades (1951-2011) of U.S. Federal Statutes to answer the research question—how do U.S. federal policies support women’s business ownership and women’s entrepreneurship? The study methodology includes quantitative and qualitative analysis of federal laws and resolutions. The quantitative analysis suggests that in 1988, with the passage of the Women’s Business Ownership Act, the U.S. began to intensify policy interest in this area. What began as policy experimentation in 1988 gradually became institutionalized. The qualitative analysis suggests that in terms of broad policy intent and intended outcomes not much has changed since 1988. Given this sobering finding, we discuss important implications and future research questions to motivate stronger research on how government can better support women business owners and entrepreneurs.

Keywords: women’s business ownership, women’s entrepreneurship, U.S. federal policies, content analysis, policy typologies

JEL Classification: J18, L26, M13

Suggested Citation

Pandey, Sheela and Amezcua, Alejandro, Women’s Business Ownership and Entrepreneurship Through the Lens of U.S. Federal Policies (November 15, 2018). Small Business Economics, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3285461

Sheela Pandey (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University Harrisburg ( email )

777 W Harrisburg Pike
Middletown, PA 21042
United States

Alejandro Amezcua

Syracuse University ( email )

900 S. Crouse Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2130
United States

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