Edited by Sandra L. Fielden and Marilyn J. Davidson
Chapter 14: Women Entrepreneurs in Singapore
Jean Lee Introduction In the Singapore context, compared to many western countries, research on women entrepreneurs is at an exploratory stage. Studies have focused mainly on creating an understanding of these women (see for example, Lee and Tan, 1993a) and while some have attempted to proﬁle Singapore women entrepreneurs (Teo, 1994a), others have focused on the needs of these women and the changing patterns in their businesses (Lee, 1996). However, one of the main diﬃculties of conducting research on women entrepreneurs in Singapore is the lack of a database from which to draw a representative sample. Expectations of women’s role in modern society are changing rapidly. Modern Singapore sees an encouraging increase of better-educated women, greater job prospects and career advancements, and an increased acceptance of women in traditionally maledominated professions and industries. As such, the modern woman may no longer be contented with being a good wife and mother. She may aspire to establish a thriving career for herself, to carve a niche in her ﬁeld of work, and to balance both family needs and career expectations. In the last 20 years, the nation witnessed an increase in female labour force participation, with an encouraging trend of self-employment among Singapore women. Between 1989 and 1999, there was a 37 per cent increase in the number of self-employed women (Report on the Labor Force Survey of Singapore, 1989–99). Local business associations and government institutions have, in recent years, given recognition to the achievements and contributions made by...
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