A Global Research Perspective
Edited by Candida G. Brush, Nancy M. Carter, Elizabeth J. Gatewood, Patricia G. Greene and Myra M. Hart
Chapter 13: The Supply of Finance of Women-led Ventures: The Northern Ireland Experience
CHAPTER 13 31/3/06 12:42 PM Page 1 13. The supply of finance to women-led ventures: the Northern Ireland experience Claire M. Leitch, Frances Hill and Richard T. Harrison INTRODUCTION In Europe, the contribution of women to the entrepreneurial development of economies is worthy of investigation because the growth in presence, size and contribution of women-owned businesses that has occurred in the US over the past ten years has not been matched (Greene et al., 2001; Carter et al., 2001). The progress made by American women in relation to new venture creation has been impressive. For example, in the last two decades, not only have women-owned businesses outpaced the overall growth of businesses by nearly two to one, they have also made a more significant impact upon the economy in terms of employment and revenues generated than the growth in the number of such firms would indicate. Furthermore, predictions have suggested that by 2005 there will be 4.7 million self-employed women in the US, which is an increase of 77 per cent since 1983 – this is in comparison to the 6 per cent increase in the number of self-employed men (United States SBA, 1998; Greene et al., 2001). On the other hand, in Europe, while there has been an increase in female entrepreneurial activity, the rate of growth has not been so rapid (Carter et al., 2001). For example, in the Netherlands females comprise 34 per cent of all those who are self-employed, while in Finland, Denmark, Spain, Belgium and...
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