An International Review
[T]here is no one set of factors that influence women’s entrepreneurial activity, rather it is a combination of different factors dependent on the individual. Age, domestic circumstances, education, socio-economic group, employment history, previous personal income, culture and geographic location, all influence the weight of each factor. (Fielden and Davidson, 2005, p. 265) INTRODUCTION The number of women entering small business ownership has increased significantly across the world and these women make a crucial contribution to the economic growth and development of local, national and global economies, especially in emerging economies (Allen et al., 2008). Furthermore, countries that have exhibited the highest rates of entrepreneurial activity are typically characterized by a more widespread involvement of women (Fielden and Davidson, 2010). Although the increase in women’s entrepreneurship has reduced the gap between men and women’s entrepreneurship in many countries, men are still about twice to two-thirds more likely to be involved with entrepreneurial activity (Allen et al., 2008). As can be seen in Table 4.1, this difference in activity rate is also stage dependent, with comparably more women in the early stages than in the established stage of entrepreneurship. This does of course vary between countries, with the greatest disparity between developed economies (i.e., those thought to be the most developed and therefore less risky in terms of investment) and emerging economies (i.e., business and market activity in industrializing or emerging regions of the world). There often appears greater parity in the entrepreneurial activity levels of women and men in emerging...
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