A Lifespan Perspective
Chapter 6: Entrepreneurial and Self-employed Careers
Of the women interviewed for this study 16 out of 72 created their own jobs and combined this with family responsibilities at some point in their lives. Some women became entrepreneurs as a career choice, others started daycare services in their own homes in order to perpetuate a homemaker lifestyle while bringing in some income. Thus we have some women in this chapter who are mostly like career women and others who are more similar to homemakers. Their stories are arranged approximately according to the extent their entrepreneurial enterprises served as a means of family support and vehicles for continuous careers for the women. The first group of four women became self-employed entrepreneurs as a career strategy and used self-employment as well as some employee jobs to support themselves when they had no other family income. There are two members of this group who have not had children but all the women supported themselves and their families for extensive periods of their lives. The next four women formed family businesses with their husbands, two while remaining in the labor force continuously and two after spending several years as homemakers. These husband and wife businesses formed the sole support of their families. The next three entrepreneurs did not use their business as a sole form of family support but rather as an individual career–family strategy. We found two women who had husbands to provide some family support but also had individual continuous careers, moving into and out of the paid...
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