A Research Perspective
Edited by Candida G. Brush, Anne de Bruin, Elizabeth J. Gatewood and Colette Henry
Chapter 5: Influences on Women’s Entrepreneurship in Ireland and the Czech Republic
Lorna Treanor and Colette Henry INTRODUCTION While the United States is an entrepreneurial role-model for many European countries, within Europe accession countries like the Czech Republic look to smaller European nations such as Ireland as exemplary of how European Community membership can positively impact on a national economy. In 2003, Ireland’s gross domestic product (GDP) had increased more than fourfold from its accession level of 1973, and gross national product (GNP) increased more than threefold during the same period (CSO, 2004). Prior to the current global economic downturn, the Celtic Tiger era witnessed increasing rates of foreign direct investment and indigenous new venture creation, resulting in high employment levels and economic prosperity. However, women’s participation in new venture creation in Ireland lags behind the US and other EU countries. Irish academics have explored social, cultural and historical factors to explain the lower entrepreneurial rates among Irish women compared with their male counterparts (Henry and Kennedy, 2003; Hisrich and Ó Cinnéide, 1985). That being said, smaller transition economies such as the Czech Republic still look toward Ireland as an example of the economic potential they have yet to realize. To date, there is limited research on entrepreneurship in emerging economies, with available literature suggesting that findings from Western developed economies may not be readily applicable in this context. Hence, Bruton et al. (2008) contend that there is a need to develop our understanding of entrepreneurship in emerging economies. Save for a few notable exceptions, there is a particular lack of research...
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