A Global Research Perspective
New Horizons in Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Candida G. Brush, Nancy M. Carter, Elizabeth J. Gatewood, Patricia G. Greene and Myra M. Hart
Chapter 1: Introduction: The Diana Project International
Candida G. Brush, Nancy M. Carter, Elizabeth J. Gatewood, Patricia G. Greene and Myra M. Hart The Diana Project, named for the mythological goddess of the hunt, began as a US-based multi-university, multi-year project dedicated to the study of women business owners and their business growth activities. The project has grown to include more than 30 researchers from 20 countries. This chapter addresses the fundamental issues raised by a collaboration of scholars from around the world. INTRODUCTION Small firms drive economic growth. Research in the OECD countries consistently shows that job growth in the entrepreneurial sector is substantially higher than it is among established (corporate) incumbents (Audretsch and Thurik, 2001). More recently, the international buzz about entrepreneurship has become even more pronounced with the explosion of new technology, rise in the availability and use of equity capital and breaking down of economic and trade barriers. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) studies find that entrepreneurship is a central source for employment creation (Reynolds et al., 2001; Acs et al., 2005). Collectively these studies reveal that location matters. The ways that people start and grow businesses vary substantially by country, depending on level of economic development, cultural factors, natural resources and industrial base. In developed countries, entrepreneurial ventures produce innovations and create wealth, as well as enhance economic development in challenging geographic or industrial sectors (Acs et al., 2005). In transitional economies entrepreneurship drives privatization by building market institutions, influencing monetary and fiscal policy, and affecting macroeconomic stabilization and growth. Economic development...