A Global Research Perspective
Edited by Candida G. Brush, Nancy M. Carter, Elizabeth J. Gatewood, Patricia G. Greene and Myra M. Hart
Chapter 12: Women Entrepreneurs in New Zealand: Private Capital Perspectives
Anne de Bruin and Susan Flint-Hartle* INTRODUCTION In New Zealand (NZ), there has been a steady increase in the number of women business owners. Over the 1966 to 2001 census period, both women total employers and women self-employed increased by almost 20 per cent to 29.8 per cent and 31.1 per cent respectively. McGregor and Tweed (2002) claim that 20 women a day start up enterprises, accounting for 40 per cent of all new business start-ups. However despite this growing prominence, there is a paucity of research into many aspects of NZ women’s entrepreneurship. This chapter outlines new research designed to explore the experiences of ‘successful’ women entrepreneurs, that is, those whose businesses had moved beyond the initiation phase and were commercially viable. As such they were deemed a ‘success’ either in the popular press or by their industry peers. The research specifically attempts to inform on finance-related issues of women’s entrepreneurial activity. It focuses on both the financial capital supply and demand sides. As few studies have explored the women business– external finance issue from the perspective of both the supply and demand (Carter et al., 2004), such a dual approach was considered to be particularly useful in mitigating the lack of information on women entrepreneurs in NZ. The emphasis of the supply side aspect of our study was the venture capital (VC) industry. Despite being intuitively aware that VC funds catered only to a negligible number of NZ businesses, let alone women-led businesses, we believed, nevertheless, that such...
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