Why do women start their own businesses? Is it solely because they are searching for financial success, or for other reasons? On the basis of detailed interviews with a number of women who have started their own businesses, this book, first published in 1985, reveals the significance of factors that are directly related to women’s experiences at home, at work, and in the wider society.
The author’s analysis shows how business start-up enables many women, but not all, to achieve forms of economic and social independence that they would not otherwise enjoy. Further, they illustrate ways in which business proprietorship has a wide variety of effects upon individuals, and upon their personal relationships and life styles. They refute the notion of a single entrepreneurial experience and argue that the causes and consequences of business start-up are highly conditioned by the extent to which women are committed to traditionally prescribed roles and to profitability.
The findings of this book will have important implications for the formulation of small business policies. It will also be of particular value to those interested in women’s studies and small business management.
Table of Contents
Preface; Part 1: The Emerging Trends; 1. Women and Proprietorship in the 1980s 2. Women, the Economy and Avenues for Business Start-Up 3. Tackling Subordination: the Available Strategies 4. The Work and Life-Styles of Female Proprietors: some Preliminary Findings; Part 2: Some Contrasting Experiences; 5. Business as Career: Innovative Entrepreneurs 6. Persisting Patterns: Conventional Businesswomen 7. Creating Space: Radical Proprietors and Co-ownership 8. Business as Pleasure: Domestic Traders 9. Conclusions: the Prospects for Female Proprietorship; Bibliography; Index