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Women Entrepreneurs and the Global Environment for Growth

Women Entrepreneurs and the Global Environment for Growth

A Research Perspective

Edited by Candida G. Brush, Anne de Bruin, Elizabeth J. Gatewood and Colette Henry

Women’s entrepreneurship research and the understanding of factors influencing the growth of women-owned business have advanced significantly over the last decade. Yet, challenges remain. Women Entrepreneurs and the Global Environment for Growth provides wide-ranging insights on the challenges that women entrepreneurs face growing their businesses and how these may be addressed.

Chapter 8: Exploring the Heterogeneity of Women’s Entrepreneurship: The Impact of Family Structure and Family Policies in Europe and the US

Vartuhí Tonoyan, Michelle Budig and Robert Strohmeyer

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship


Vartuhí Tonoyan, Michelle Budig and Robert Strohmeyer INTRODUCTION Recent work suggests that both self-employed women and men represent a heterogeneous group with regard to their occupational profile. For instance, in the US and Southern Europe, the majority of self-employed women are unskilled workers in the service sector (Arum, 1997; Arum and Müller, 2004; Budig, 2006; McManus, 2001). In contrast, the share of professional (female and male) and highly compensated self-employed (for example, lawyers, doctors, architects and engineers) is the highest in conservative and highly regulated corporatist welfare states in Western Europe (such as Germany, Austria and the Netherlands) (Arum and Müller, 2004; Lohmann, 2004). However, prior work did not systematically consider the heterogeneity of women’s self-employment when examining the effects of individual determinants on women’s entry into entrepreneurship. Rather, empirical studies usually pool all types of female self-employment together, without taking into account whether self-employed work is being performed in professional or non-professional/low-skilled occupations. Against this background, our study makes three new contributions. First, we explore whether determinants predicting women’s entrepreneurship vary by the type of occupation entered. We disaggregate entrepreneurship into professional (high-skilled) and non-professional (low-skilled and unskilled) occupations. Our primary focus is to understand whether family structure (motherhood and partner’s occupational status; see Budig, 2006) has a differential impact on the qualification profile of self-employed 137 M2401 - BRUSH PRINT.indd 137 14/10/10 08:10:43 138 Women entrepreneurs and the global environment for growth women. We analyse the pathways into different forms of entrepreneurship across 23...

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