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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 10: An Integrated View of Gender, Finance and Entrepreneurial Capital: Theory, Practice and Policy

Eleanor Shaw, Sara Carter and Wing Lam

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship


Eleanor Shaw, Sara Carter and Wing Lam INTRODUCTION Finance has long been recognized as a barrier to women business owners. Prior research reports differences in the financing patterns of businesses owned by men and women (Brush, 1992; Brush et al., 2001; Coleman, 2000) and provides unequivocal evidence that women-owned businesses start with lower levels of capitalization (Carter and Rosa, 1998), lower ratios of debt finance (Haines et al., 1999) and much less likelihood of using private equity or venture capital (Brush et al., 2001; Greene et al., 1999). Explanations for this bimodal funding pattern are far from satisfactory. Early research attributed gender differences to structural (sector, age, size) factors, but studies that have controlled for structural effects persistently report different financing profiles of male-owned and female-owned businesses. Differences in methodological approach, sampling procedures and country context have all contributed to a conflicting base of evidence regarding the relationship between finance and women-owned businesses (Haines et al., 1999). The research field has also been constrained by weak theoretical development and a lack of cumulativeness (Mirchandani, 1999). Acquiring business finance is a complex process influenced by a range of economic and social variables many of which are not easily identified and are often misunderstood. Drawing upon the theoretical perspectives of Bourdieu (1977, 1990) and network theory (Granovetter, 1973, 1982, 1985; Mitchell, 1969), this chapter seeks to explore the complex relationship between finance, business ownership and gender by considering the impact of non-financial capital on the initial financing of women-owned firms. 187 M2401...

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