Growth-oriented Women Entrepreneurs and their Businesses
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Growth-oriented Women Entrepreneurs and their Businesses

A Global Research Perspective

Edited by Candida G. Brush, Nancy M. Carter, Elizabeth J. Gatewood, Patricia G. Greene and Myra M. Hart

Enterprising new firms drive economic growth, and women around the world are important contributors to that growth. As entrepreneurs, they seize opportunities, develop and deliver new goods and services and, in the process, create wealth for themselves, their families, communities, and countries. This volume explores the role women entrepreneurs play in this economic progress, highlighting the challenges they encounter in launching and growing their businesses, and providing detailed studies of how their experiences vary from country to country.
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Chapter 11: Access to Finance for Women Entrepreneurs in Ireland: A Supply-Side Perspective

Colette Henry, Kate Johnston and Angela Hamouda


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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