A Research Perspective
Edited by Candida G. Brush, Anne de Bruin, Elizabeth J. Gatewood and Colette Henry
Chapter 17: Gender Differences in the Growth Aspirations and Technology Orientation of Slovenian Entrepreneurs
Karin Širec, Polona Tominc and Miroslav Rebernik INTRODUCTION Firm growth is critical to economic development and the creation of wealth and employment. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (Rebernik et al., 2008) and the Slovenian Entrepreneurship Observatory (Rebernik and Širec, 2009), entrepreneurial potential in Slovenia is not fully utilized. Indeed, small-firm growth, the focal point of this chapter, is neither a self-evident phenomenon nor a matter of chance. Rather, it is the result of an owner’s/entrepreneur’s clear, positively motivated business intentions and actions, driven by the belief that (s)he can produce the desired outcomes (Gray, 2000; Maki and Pukkinen, 2000). Consequently, exploring issues and challenges facing particular entrepreneurs, such as female entrepreneurs, may offer valuable insights into promoting firm growth. Female entrepreneurs are a diverse and complex group, with varied backgrounds, circumstances, and worldviews. The majority of research has found that female entrepreneurs generally underperform male entrepreneurs on a variety of measures, including revenues, profit, growth and discontinuance rates (Du Rietz and Henrekson, 2000). Moreover, an extensive literature review of studies on gender issues from the past 25 years demonstrated that many questions still remain unanswered (Greene et al., 2003), particularly in three primary areas: human capital, strategic choice and structural barriers. Interestingly, in discussing inhibiting factors, Brush (1997) applied a broader perspective to studying the barriers and challenges that inhibit growth, finding that opportunities for female entrepreneurs actually improved with the use of technology, and that this aspect could also be a positive contributor to growth. 323 M2401...
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