Edited by Sandra L. Fielden and Marilyn J. Davidson
Chapter 6: The Financing of Small Businesses – Female Experiences and Strategies
6 The ﬁnancing of small businesses – female experiences and strategies Susan Marlow and Dean Patton Introduction The availability of ﬁnance and access to that ﬁnance is a critical element to the start-up and consequent performance of any enterprise. Hence, any barriers or impediments to accessing appropriate levels or sources of funding will have an enduring and negative impact upon the performance of aﬀected ﬁrms. Although ﬁndings have been somewhat inconsistent, recent research does support the notion that women entering self-employment will experience speciﬁc barriers and hurdles to accessing both informal and formal sources of business funding and these are related to their gender (Carter and Rosa, 1998; Marlow, 2002). Part of the problem in establishing any clear links between the issues of gender, ﬁnance availability, accessibility and provision arises from the fact that attaining suitable and suﬃcient funding is a ‘problem’ for the self-employed per se. This has been usefully illustrated in the UK recently by the contentious debate regarding excessive bank charges levied upon smaller ﬁrms, the potential detriment this represents to their viability and performance and what response the government might make to regulate such charging (Cameron and Shrimsley, 2002). Hence, to explore these issues in greater depth and within the context of current debate, this chapter will review the generic provision of ﬁnance to smaller ﬁrms and then, critically evaluate the manner in which women are accommodated within, or excluded from, such provision. Moreover, in recognition of the broader aspects of gender discrimination and...
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