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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 7: Financial Capital Issues

Andrea E. Smith-Hunter


Issues of financial capital and access to this entity are said to be extremely important for entrepreneurs, regardless of the size of the business or the type of industry in which the business operates (Nelton, 1997). It is essential to the long-term success of any business (Inman, 2000). Based on the recent coverage in the literature, there is no doubt that having access to financial capital, whether through loans, revolving credit, lines of credit or overdraft accounts, is a major concern for women entrepreneurs. A number of studies have indicated that women entrepreneurs are more likely than their male counterparts to experience this difficulty (Moore and Buttner, 1997; Nelton, 1997; Coughlin and Thomas, 2002). Studies have also shown that minority women entrepreneurs experience the same difficulty (Smith-Hunter, 2003; Inman, 2000). Financial Capital Difficulties In looking at financial capital difficulties experienced by the women entrepreneurs when starting their businesses, a number of statistical analyses were used. This chapter begins with a look at the percentages, regarding source of funds, followed by an analysis that looks at the difficulty in obtaining financial capital and measures of success. The chapter ends with the results for the relationships between the measures of financial success and other pertinent variables, which provides an overall picture of the position of white and minority women entrepreneurs in this study. Table 7.1 Difficulty Obtaining Financial Capital: Start-up Stage Response Yes No Total Minority Women Entrepreneurs 76 (61.29%) 48 (38.71%) 124 (100.00%) White Women Entrepreneurs 59 (42.45%) 80 (57.55%) 139...

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