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 12: The divisions of labour and responsibilities in business and home among women and men copreneurs in the Czech Republic

Alena Křížková, Nancy Jurik and Marie Dlouhá


This chapter examines the divisions of labour and responsibilities in the business and family lives of copreneurs in the Czech Republic (CR). Copreneurs are romantic and business partners who own and operate businesses together (Barnett and Barnett, 1988). Copreneurs are an under-researched but important group because they provide an excellent point for unpacking the interplay among business, family life, and gender (Blenkinsopp and Owens, 2010). Since the 1989 Velvet Revolution catalysed the renewal of small businesses in the CR, these enterprises constitute an important yet unexplored component of Czech economic and social life. In this chapter, we address this gap. We examine the constructions of the divisions of labour in business and home and strategies to balance these two spheres, and locate both within the socio-historical context of the CR. Entrepreneurs have historically been portrayed as disembodied males without household responsibilities, and living in Western market economies (Bruni et al., 2005; Brush, 1992). Growth in the numbers of women-owned businesses worldwide has brought attention to their achievements and to the gendered nature of entrepreneurial experiences (Hughes and Jennings, 2012). The study of women business owners highlights how family responsibilities inspire and impinge on entrepreneurship (De Bruin et al., 2007; Jurik, 1998). Research on family-owned businesses has stressed the gendered links between business and family dynamics (Lee et al., 2006).

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