Women’s Entrepreneurship in Global and Local Contexts
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Women’s Entrepreneurship in Global and Local Contexts

Edited by Cristina Díaz-García, Candida G. Brush, Elizabeth G. Gatewood and Friederike Welter

Written by leading scholars from a wide range of countries, this book advances the understanding of women's entrepreneurship by drawing attention to the contexts in which they operate. With its impact on gendered institutions and gendered social forces, it will be of interest for researchers, faculty and students as well as policy-makers and practitioners. It is the fifth in the series of books produced in partnership with the Diana International Research Network.
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Chapter 9: Empowering women through social entrepreneurship with innovative business models: cases from Turkey

Duygu Uygur, Elif Bezal Kahraman and Gonca Günay

Abstract

This study focuses on female social entrepreneurs (FSEs) suggesting innovative solutions to social problems in Turkey, which is a country characterized by an economy in transition from an efficiency-driven to an innovation-driven stage. It aims to understand how those few Turkish FSEs, who are relatively privileged considering their ability to access resources, make use of innovation in their business model to achieve empowerment. In that attempt, FSEs and their ventures, which are economically self-sustained while innovatively addressing difficult societal problems, are explored though an understanding-driven approach using a case study method and collecting data through interviews and secondary sources. This study uses a business model developed from Hamel (2002) and comprises four components: core strategy, strategic resources, customer interface, and value network. Examples analyzed are for-profit organizations which have a proven record of viability achieved through employment of innovative business models. Therefore these are also examples using innovation as a coping strategy for running business in industries such as fitness, agriculture, and souvenir production, which are generally regarded as traditional and male dominated, to smooth their way through the established norms and conceptions related to social and family roles which constitute the main problem for female entrepreneurs in Turkey. Thus, their innovative business model is effective in transforming various challenges into value creating solutions.

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