Women in Charge (Routledge Revivals): The Experiences of Female Entrepreneurs

Routledge
Free sample

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.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Jun 11, 2015
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Pages
10
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ISBN
9781317483823
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Entrepreneurship
Social Science / Gender Studies
Social Science / Women's Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The Foundations of Female Entrepreneurship explores the relationship between home, household headship and enterprise in Victorian London. It examines the notions of duty, honor and suitability in how women’s ventures are represented by themselves and others and engages in a comparison of the interpretation of historical female entrepreneurship by contemporaries and historians in the UK, Europe and America. It argues that just as women in business have often been hidden by men, they have often also been hidden by the ‘home’ and the conceptualization of separate spheres of public and private agency and of ‘the’ entrepreneur. Drawing on contextual evidence from 1747 to 1880, including fire insurance records, directories, trade cards, newspapers, memoirs, the census and extensive record linkage, this study concentrates on the early to mid-Victorian period when ideals about gender roles and appropriate work for women were vigorously debated.

Alison Kay offers new insight into the motivations of the Victorian women who opted to pursue enterprises of their own. By engaging in empirical comparisons with men's business, it also reveals similarities and differences with the small to medium sized ventures of male business proprietors. The link between home and enterprise is then further excavated by detailed record linkage, revealing the households and domestic circumstances and responsibilities of female proprietors. Using both discourse and data to connect enterprise, proprietor and household, The Foundations of Female Entrepreneurship provides a multi-dimensional picture of the Victorian female proprietor and moves beyond the stereotypes. It argues that active business did not exclude women, although careful representation was vital and this has obscured the similarities of their businesses with those of many male business proprietors.

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