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Women Entrepreneurs Across Racial Lines

Issues of Human Capital, Financial Capital and Network Structures

Andrea E. Smith-Hunter

Women entrepreneurs command an increasingly large presence at the international and national levels. A significant part of this impact is due to growing numbers of minority women becoming entrepreneurs. This volume provides some of the most comprehensive data to date on the topic of women entrepreneurs across racial lines. It offers a systematic and conceptual framework for understanding issues of network structures and human and financial capital, analyzed through a comparative analysis of minority and white women entrepreneurs.
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Chapter 3: Research Design and Methods

Andrea E. Smith-Hunter


This study provides a comparative analysis of women business owners across racial lines. The primary focus centers on the human capital, network structures and access to financial capital that women entrepreneurs display. The study also looks at how three factors converge and impact these two groups of women entrepreneurs and culminates in an analysis that looks at the impact on the women’s economic successes. This chapter reviews the research design and methodology that was employed in the study, providing insight into women entrepreneurs’ position in today’s society and their impact in the current marketplace. Study Focus The original intent of this book was to use quantitative data only to look at women entrepreneurs across racial lines. This would be done through mailing a questionnaire, with a cover letter explaining its purpose and soliciting the participation of the women entrepreneurs based on a nationwide listing source. As the completed questionnaires were received and reviewed, there was a sense that a more qualitative perspective was also needed to supplement and clarify some of the quantitative responses. Thus, the decision was made to contact some of the participants, with the idea of having them answer follow-up questions that would allow for clarification, in-depth explanations and additional insight into women’s true experiences in the entrepreneurial world. Data Collection Data collection was conducted by seeking a broad range of information from a number of women entrepreneurs in different industries over a wide geographic area in a relatively short span of time. This was accomplished by...

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