Chapter 4: Female entrepreneurship in rural Vietnam: an exploratory study
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During the last few decades female entrepreneurship has been expanding in most parts of the world (Driga et al., 2009) and is considered one of the fastest-growing entrepreneurial populations worldwide (Brush et al., 2009). This development is seen as particularly important for low-income countries (Bushell, 2008). For example, both the Micro-Credit Summit in Washington in 1997 and the Global Microcredit Summit in Canada in 2006 emphasized the need to enable female entrepreneurs (and their families) to gain access to credit for self-employment and to other financial and business services as a means of lifting hundreds of millions of people out of extreme poverty (Bushell, 2008). Similarly, female entrepreneurship development is also a part of ‘ongoing national efforts to alleviate poverty in developing countries in relation to the Millennium Development Goals’ (Tambunan, 2009, p.27). In rural areas, the growing number of female new business founders is contributing to the utilization of an untapped source of productivity for the local economy (Anthopoulou, 2009) and to the development of new income sources on the farm (Bock, 2004). The aim of this chapter, therefore, is to attempt to find answers to two important questions: 1. What contextual facilitators support rural women engaging in entrepreneurial activities? 2. What contextual constraints exist that prevent or inhibit rural women from engaging in entrepreneurial activities?

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