Achieving Peak Performance
Edited by Cary L. Cooper and Ronald J. Burke
Chapter 10: The Challenges for Female Small Business Owners and Managers: A Consideration of the Veterinary Profession
Colette Henry, Lorna Treanor and Sarah Baillie INTRODUCTION Female small business ownership, as a subject of concerted academic research, has attracted considerable attention in recent years (Henry & Johnston, 2007; Marlow et al., 2008; Idris, 2009; Women’s Enterprise Task Force, 2009). This is partly due to the continued interest, at both the academic and political level, in entrepreneurship and small business generally, and the growing recognition that female-led businesses make a valuable contribution to the global economy (Prowess, 2007). In addition, as noted by Idris (2009, p. 416), women entrepreneurs add diversity and choice to the broader business environment (Verheul et al., 2006), and, in some respects, can even be considered to contribute to enhancing gender equality. At the academic level, the field has developed significantly from the purely exploratory and descriptive studies characterized by the earlier literature toward more robust evidence bases that further our understanding of complex issues inherent in women’s business ownership, management and entrepreneurship (Carter & Shaw, 2006). From a political perspective, the promotion and support of women’s business start-ups and growth has become an important area for government, leading, in the UK, to the launch of the Strategic Framework for Women’s Enterprise and the establishment of the Women’s Enterprise Taskforce. While there is a significant body of international literature on women as small business owners, managers and entrepreneurs, there are still relatively few studies that explore the challenges women encounter in the context of specific professions, particularly those where women are now, or will soon be, in...
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