Profiling female entrepreneurs: A study of female entrepreneurs in the Dublin region
Scaife, Annie P.
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The objectives of this research are twofold. Firstly, it provides a profile of the female entrepreneur in the Dublin region. Secondly, it critically examines the awareness and take-up of business development support services by the female entrepreneurs who participated in this research. One of the major difficulties with research on entrepreneurship is the proliferation and the interpretation of definitions used. For the purposes of this research, a working definition of female entrepreneurship has been established. This research critically examines the position of women in the labour market and considers the extent to which the issues experienced by women in work are transposed to women in self-employment. The literature review explores the implications arising from the definition of entrepreneurship from which EU and Irish enterprise policy is informed and seeks to highlight and evaluate its impact on the female entrepreneur. The research investigation consisted of: (1) a critical review of the international literature and the issues, (2) a qualitative study, using a focus group of self-employed women who are not registered with a state business development agency, (3) a quantitative study of self-employed women in the Dublin-region registered with state agencies and (4) interviews with key informants. The emerging profile of the female entrepreneur in the Dublin region is a woman who operates predominantly in the micro, low-tech, service sector. A contradiction emerging from the research in profiling women entrepreneurs in the Dublin region, suggest that this group do not avail of state agency business development support, while at the same time lack the business acumen to survive. The findings from the present study reflect international trends in the area.
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