A Global Research Perspective
Edited by Candida G. Brush, Nancy M. Carter, Elizabeth J. Gatewood, Patricia G. Greene and Myra M. Hart
Chapter 11: Access to Finance for Women Entrepreneurs in Ireland: A Supply-Side Perspective
Colette Henry, Kate Johnston and Angela Hamouda I. INTRODUCTION One of the main constraints on the level of entrepreneurship and business creation is the difficulty encountered in obtaining finance (Bates, 1997; Lumme et al., 1998; Fischer and Massey, 2000; Cooper, 2002). According to Drucker (1995), the lack of capital is ‘the most crippling ailment of infant enterprises’ (Drucker, as cited in Hindle and Rushworth, 1999, p. 2). De Bruin and Dupuis (2003) concur, stating that, ‘as well as being of considerable importance at start-up, economic [financial] capital is an ongoing issue and is also sometimes implicated in the closure of businesses’ (De Bruin and Dupuis, 2003, p. 61). National and international researchers have highlighted the negative impact of financial constraints on new firm formation, as well as the harmful impact on economic growth and job creation (Egeln et al., 1997; Manigart and Struyf, 1997; Becchetti and Trovato, 2002; Small Business Service, 2003). Moreover, recent studies suggest that financial constraints are more acute with regard to women-led ventures (Carter and Rosa, 1998; Verheul and Thurik, 2001; Carter et al., 2002; Canadian Prime Minister’s Task Force, 2003). In the case of Ireland, the evidence, although limited, suggests that both nascent and established women entrepreneurs have experienced greater difficulties in accessing funding for their business ventures than their male counterparts (Bray, 2001; Henry and Kennedy, 2003; Gender Equality Unit, 2003). This chapter presents the results of a major study into availability and access to finance for women-owned/led businesses in Ireland. The study involved...
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