Policy and Strategy Perspectives
Edited by Hamid Etemad and Richard Wright
Chapter 8: Small Business in the Czech Republic and Japan: Successes and Challenges for Women Entrepreneurs
Terri R. Lituchy, Philip Bryer and Martha A. Reavley* INTRODUCTION Throughout the world, women are starting and operating their own business at a much greater rate than are men (Economist, 1996; Chandler and Murphy, 1994; Capowski, 1992). Many of these entrepreneurs are involved in international business (Knight, 2000). From 1980 to 1994, the number of female entrepreneurs has tripled in the US to almost eight million. Onethird of all US businesses are owned by women (Esters, 1997). On an international basis, the growth rate of women-owned businesses is similar to that of the United States (OECD, 1986; Silvestri and Lukasiewicz, 1987). In the Czech Republic, for the ﬁrst time in over 50 years, women as well as men have the opportunity to start their own businesses and to earn a proﬁt. In several Asian countries, such as Japan, the economic crisis has reduced the opportunities for women in large ﬁrms. The crisis has forced many Japanese women to work outside the home to supplement their husbands’ incomes. These conditions have provided entrepreneurial Japanese women with a reason to start their own small businesses. The purpose of this chapter is to understand women small-business owners in other cultures, speciﬁcally the Czech Republic and Japan. Interviews with women entrepreneurs in both countries were used as the basis for this qualitative case-study research. Many researchers have examined the diﬀerences between male and female entrepreneurs in the United States. They have found diﬀerences in * Earlier versions of this paper were...
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