Table of Contents

Growth-oriented Women Entrepreneurs and their Businesses

Growth-oriented Women Entrepreneurs and their Businesses

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

Enterprising new firms drive economic growth, and women around the world are important contributors to that growth. As entrepreneurs, they seize opportunities, develop and deliver new goods and services and, in the process, create wealth for themselves, their families, communities, and countries. This volume explores the role women entrepreneurs play in this economic progress, highlighting the challenges they encounter in launching and growing their businesses, and providing detailed studies of how their experiences vary from country to country.

Chapter 10: Builders and Leaders: Six Case Studies of Men and Women Small Proprietors in the Bulgarian Construction Industry

Tatiana S. Manolova

Subjects: business and management, diversity and management, entrepreneurship, gender and management


Tatiana S. Manolova* INTRODUCTION Economies in transition have lately seen a rapid rise in entrepreneurship. During the 1990s, about 5 percent of the adult working population in these countries has attempted to start a new business or become self-employed, a figure very similar to the percentage of nascent entrepreneurs in the United States or Western Europe (Peng, 2001). Prolific as the rate of new business formation is, private businesses in transition economies are usually less growth-oriented than their Western counterparts. Reasons for the low growth orientation of entrepreneurial ventures in transition economies include personal autonomy rather than business growth motivations (Scase, 1997), resource scarcity, environmental uncertainty and weak institutional endorsement (Tan, 1996, 2002; Tsang, 1996), as well as prevailing cultural tendencies (Lee and Peterson, 2000; Verheulet al., 2004). Women-led entrepreneurial businesses in transition economies, in particular, have shown a lower propensity to grow and a higher propensity to exit under unfavorable industry and competitive conditions. This finding is replicated by studies in Uzbekistan (Welter et al., 2003), Slovenia (Tominc, 2003), Russia (Izyumov and Razumnova, 2000); Poland (Bliss and Garratt, 2001), and Hungary (Hisrich and Fulop, 1994; Szerb and Pinter, 2003). Two recent surveys in Bulgaria reveal lower expectations among women entrepreneurs for growth and development of their ventures (Agency for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (ASME), 2002; Stoyanovska et al., 2000). Thus, only one-third of the women entrepreneurs surveyed stated they intended to grow their businesses compared with 50 percent of the men entrepreneurs (ASME, 2002). The lower growth propensity of...

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