Women’s Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century
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Women’s Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century

An International Multi-Level Research Analysis

Edited by Kate Lewis, Colette Henry, Elizabeth J. Gatewood and John Watson

Women’s Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century is the fourth in the series of books emanating from the DIANA International Research Network. The volume takes a multi-dimensional approach to coalesce a series of chapters around the central theme: gender and entrepreneurship today and in the future. The chapters span a diverse range of countries, methodologies, and levels of analysis – however, they all seek to contribute to an advancing understanding of women and their engagement with entrepreneurial endeavours.
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Chapter 4: Female entrepreneurship in rural Vietnam: an exploratory study

Cuc Nguyen, Howard Frederick and Huong Nguyen


During the last few decades female entrepreneurship has been expanding in most parts of the world (Driga et al., 2009) and is considered one of the fastest-growing entrepreneurial populations worldwide (Brush et al., 2009). This development is seen as particularly important for low-income countries (Bushell, 2008). For example, both the Micro-Credit Summit in Washington in 1997 and the Global Microcredit Summit in Canada in 2006 emphasized the need to enable female entrepreneurs (and their families) to gain access to credit for self-employment and to other financial and business services as a means of lifting hundreds of millions of people out of extreme poverty (Bushell, 2008). Similarly, female entrepreneurship development is also a part of ‘ongoing national efforts to alleviate poverty in developing countries in relation to the Millennium Development Goals’ (Tambunan, 2009, p.27). In rural areas, the growing number of female new business founders is contributing to the utilization of an untapped source of productivity for the local economy (Anthopoulou, 2009) and to the development of new income sources on the farm (Bock, 2004). The aim of this chapter, therefore, is to attempt to find answers to two important questions: 1. What contextual facilitators support rural women engaging in entrepreneurial activities? 2. What contextual constraints exist that prevent or inhibit rural women from engaging in entrepreneurial activities?

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