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International Handbook of Women and Small Business Entrepreneurship

Edited by Sandra L. Fielden and Marilyn J. Davidson

The number of women entering small business ownership has increased significantly across the world in recent years. These women make a crucial contribution to the economic growth and development of local, national and global economies. Yet, despite their increasing numbers, they have received comparatively little attention from the academic community. This comprehensive and coherent book redresses the balance and provides an up-to-date, theoretical review of this important area of study. A distinguished group of international contributors presents the latest work from the USA, the UK, Australia, Canada, India and Singapore, which explores practical initiatives and strategies related to the experiences of women entering small business entrepreneurship.
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Chapter 7: Succession Planning in Small Firms: Gender Impacts

Lynn M. Martin and Chris Martin


7 Succession planning in small firms: Gender impacts Lynn M. Martin and Chris Martin Introduction Between 2000 and 2020, women are predicted to move to 50 per cent ownership of all US businesses. This is attributed to an upsurge in the inheritance, ownership and management of companies by women of those enterprises that were founded immediately post-war (Achua, 1997; Daniels, 1997). Whether European companies will follow these anticipated trends is more open to question. In Germany, an estimated 411 000 employees in 32 000 companies are expected to face ‘problems of succession in family owned businesses’ without predictions as to female inheritance (Wickert and Herschel, 2001, p. 330, citing Schröeder and Freund, 2000). In the UK, men were found to be more likely to inherit the family firm (Curran and Burrows, 1989), and by 1998, little had changed since twice as many 18–24 year olds running inherited businesses were male (5 per cent : 2 per cent) (Barclays Bank, 1998). The level of inheritance of the family firm is low in the UK, with only 4 per cent of entrepreneurs in the 2001 Small Business Service Household Survey of Entrepreneurship having inherited their business. However, this figure also omits the ways in which money from the sale of the business may be used. Male relatives may have money provided to start up a firm, whereas female relatives are more likely to receive money as goods or for specific lifestyle items like a car (Martin, 2001a). Despite the rise...

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