Women-Owned, Home-Based Businesses: The Effects of Location on Growth
International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Forthcoming
Posted: 27 Apr 2022
Date Written: April 10, 2022
Purpose: Building on institutional theory, this research explores spatial-institutional contexts differentiating between women-owned businesses located in periphery and core regions, and between home-based and away-from-home businesses. The design relies on mixed methods: we conducted a quantitative survey of 156 women entrepreneurs from core and periphery regions in Israel, followed by a qualitative survey of nine women entrepreneurs using semi-constructed, in-depth interviews. The characteristics of women-owned businesses were corroborated using a sample of men-owned businesses for comparison. The findings suggest that the choice of locating a business at home is often gender-driven, as it allows upholding of the gender contract while still breaking the glass ceiling. Furthermore, the findings suggest that gender and location affect business performance: women-owned home-based businesses in peripheral regions enjoy higher growth than similar businesses in core regions or similar businesses owned by men. The study bears practical implications for women entrepreneurs in peripheral regions, in all business sectors, suggesting that running a business from home is an advantage. Originality: This is a first-of-its-kind examination of the intersection between home-base and peripheral location and its effect on women-owned businesses, as well as the influence of spatial-institutional contexts on business growth. The study corroborates the institutional theory and the feminist perspectives of gender occupation by exploring factors that drive women to start and expand home-based businesses.
Keywords: Women's entrepreneurship; Business growth; SME; Home-based; Peripheral regions; Family
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