Directions for the Sustainable Development and Competitiveness of Regions
Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Börje Johansson and Roger R. Stough
Chapter 6: Women, entrepreneurial activity and territory: differences or myths?
Among all the social changes that took place in the twentieth century, the influence women have had on economic development represents a prominent phenomenon, and their professionalism and leadership in some business spheres have become an indisputable fact in recent decades. Since the 1980s, women have gained ground in the areas of training and university studies, and this is demonstrated by the growing level of qualifications held by women entering the labour market (Spanish National Statistics Institute [Instituto Nacional de Estadística], INE, 2011). In some of the most advanced countries, women currently comprise the majority in qualified professions (The Economist, 2010) and have a growing participation in entrepreneurial activity (GEM, 2008). The objective of this research is to make an in-depth analysis of the characteristics, behaviour and results of women’s entrepreneurial activity by comparing the most significant aspects of research in this regard. From a regional viewpoint, the specific case of Spanish entrepreneurial women is studied by adopting a comparative approach in order to establish the diff erence between entrepreneurial women and the economic average. An attempt has been made to separate the analysis and conclusions in this work from the ‘dominant male norm’ by Ahl (2002) regarding the researching style of women’s entrepreneurial activity.
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