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GAMLA VILLFARELSER och NYA VERKLIGHETER?: En studie om föreställningar och förutsättningar för entreprenörskap
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Business, Economics and Law.
2014 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In most countries around the world, women owned businesses form an important and significant part of the overall entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is fundamental for the prosperity of a country and for that reason there are constant efforts in order to create a favourable and equal business condition. The knowledge about entrepreneurship is continuously increasing and has, among other things, resulted in perceptions of who is an entrepreneur, what constitutes growth, and strategies for how gender equality in entrepreneurship should be promoted. The increased knowledge, and the specific strategies and targeted measures designed to increase women's share in the business world seem, however, not to have resulted in a more equal entrepreneurship. The purpose of the present study is to identify and analyze factors that are considered to affect start-up and growth decisions of women and men, and, to propose a conceptual model that shows how gender-linked beliefs (i.e. fallacies) about entrepreneurship growth and support systems can be obstacles for gender equality in entrepreneurship. Respondents in the thesis are entrepreneurs, women and men, in the county of Jämtland. The results from the five papers in the thesis show that women and men have a high passion and a strong self-efficacy to start businesses but that women's passion is negatively affected because of a higher risk perception. Another important result is that growth can be considered from a qualitative perspective where growth involves both a quest for survival and personal development. Women entrepreneurs do want employment growth but the condition for that is that they need access to a fair support system already in the previous lifecycle phases. The results further show that the current support system comprises a narrow definition of growth and that gender questions do not seem to have had an impact when allocating government funds. Together, the above results help to dispel some of the existing conceptions of reality. The thesis concludes: Women, as well as men, possess the passion and the self-efficacy to start and growth a business, but women are not perceived as potential growth entrepreneurs, and therefore they only receive a fraction of the total business support. This leads to a higher risk perception which cancels out the influence of passion on women’s start-up decision. Previous strategies for business equality in Sweden do not seem to have been successful. Instead strategies must be reshaped and based on a conception of reality where both women and men are considered growth entrepreneurs.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, women entrepreneurs, risk, passion, self-efficacy, gender equality, business life cycle, business support system.

Abstract [sv]

I de allra flesta länder runt om i världen utgör kvinnors företagande en viktig och betydande andel av det totala företagandet. Eftersom entreprenörskap och företagande är grundläggande för ett lands välstånd pågår ständigt ett arbete för att skapa ett gynnsamt och jämställt företagsklimat där kvinnor och män har lika rättigheter och förutsättningar. Kunskapen om entreprenörskap och företagande ökar kontinuerligt och har bland annat resulterat i föreställningar kring vem som är entreprenör, vad som avses med utveckling och tillväxt i ett företag, samt strategier för hur ett jämställt företagande ska främjas. Den ökade kunskapen samt de särskilda strategierna som syftar till att öka kvinnors andel i företagsvärlden verkar dock inte ha resulterat i ett mer jämställt företagande. Till exempel startar män, årligen i Sverige, dubbelt så många företag som kvinnor. Avhandlingens syfte är att identifiera och analysera faktorer som anses påverka att kvinnor och män startar och utvecklar företag i olika utsträckning samt att föreslå en förklaringsmodell som visar hur genusbundna föreställningar (läs villfarelser) kring entreprenörskap, tillväxt och stödsystem kan utgöra hinder för ett jämställt företagande. Respondenter i avhandlingen är företagande kvinnor och män i Jämtlands län. Resultaten från avhandlingens delstudier visar bland annat att både kvinnor och män känner en stor passion för och har en stark självtillit att starta företag men att kvinnors passion för att starta företag påverkas negativt på grund av en högre riskuppfattning. Ett annat resultat är att tillväxt kan betraktas ur ett kvalitativt perspektiv där tillväxt kan innefatta såväl en strävan efter överlevnad som personlig utveckling. Företagande kvinnor uttrycker att de vill ha sysselsättningstillväxt i sina företag men det förutsätter att de får ta del av ett rättvist stödsystem redan i tidigare faser i företagets livscykel. Resultaten visar vidare att dagens stödsystem utgår från en snäv definition av tillväxtbegreppet samt att jämställdhetsfrågor inte verkar beaktas när statliga medel fördelas. Ovanstående resultat hjälper tillsammans till med att slå hål på några av de föreställningar om den verklighet som för närvarande råder för företagande. Avhandlingens slutsats är följande: Kvinnor och män känner en stor passion för och har en stark självtillit att starta och utveckla företag men då företagande kvinnor inte uppfattas som potentiella tillväxtföretag får de endast ta del av en bråkdel av det totala företagsstödet. Detta leder till att de uppfattar högre risker med företagande, vilket också neutraliserar den identifierade effekt som passionen annars har för att starta företag. Den förda strategin för ett jämställt företagande i Sverige verkar inte ha varit framgångsrik. Strategier bör därför omformas och baseras på en verklighetsbild där såväl kvinnor som män betraktas som entreprenörer som startar och driver tillväxtföretag.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Östersund: Mittuniversitetet , 2014. , 250 p.
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 199
Keyword [sv]
entreprenörskap, företagande kvinnor, risk, passion, självtillit, tillväxt, livscykel, jämställdhet, stödsystem
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-22958ISBN: 978-91-87557-83-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-22958DiVA: diva2:746349
Public defence
2014-10-03, F229, Mittuniversitetet, Östersund, 13:17 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-09-15 Created: 2014-09-12 Last updated: 2015-03-13Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. The idea is not enough: The role of self-efficacy in mediating the relationship between pull entrepreneurship and founder passion – a research note
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The idea is not enough: The role of self-efficacy in mediating the relationship between pull entrepreneurship and founder passion – a research note
2015 (English)In: International Small Business Journal, ISSN 0266-2426, E-ISSN 1741-2870, Vol. 33, no 8, 974-984 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This research note demonstrates that self-efficacy is important for understanding why an attractive idea may lead an entrepreneur to develop passion. Drawing upon a survey of 103 respondents, we find that self-efficacy mediates the influence of pull entrepreneurship on founder passion suggesting that being pulled toward opportunities to start a business is not directly required for entrepreneurial passion to develop. Instead, pull entrepreneurship increases self-efficacy and assists the individual to develop the skills typical of an entrepreneur. This instills individual self-efficacy beliefs, which in turn are prerequisites for passion to grow. As such, this research uncovers a skill-based explanation of how founder passion develops.

Keyword
entrepreneur, nascent entrepreneurship, passion, pull/push entrepreneurship, self-efficacy
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-23005 (URN)10.1177/0266242614543336 (DOI)000363966500009 ()2-s2.0-84945126708 (Scopus ID)
Note

Publ. online Aug 2014

Available from: 2014-09-17 Created: 2014-09-17 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
2. Risk perception matters: why women's passion may not lead to a business start-up
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Risk perception matters: why women's passion may not lead to a business start-up
2015 (English)In: International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, ISSN 1756-6266, E-ISSN 1756-6274, Vol. 7, no 1, 87-104 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – This paper aims to explore whether nascent women entrepreneurs perceive more risks than men, and to determine how higher risk perceptions might limit start-up decisions by mediating the potential influence of passion and self-efficacy. Design/methodology/approach – This study surveyed 103 participants in Sweden – both women and men – who, in the period 2008 through 2011, intended to start a business. ANOVA tests and binominal logistic regression models were conducted to test hypothesized framework. Findings – The authors found that nascent women entrepreneurs perceive more risk than nascent male entrepreneurs, that risk perceptions influence start-up decisions and that risk preferences partial out the otherwise identified influence of passion on start-up decisions. Research limitations/implications – The authors reveal a consequence of gender socialization and how it impacts the start-up decisions of nascent women entrepreneurs. Support systems should consider developing activities that change the public's perception of who is an entrepreneur and seek ways to balance risk perceptions between men and women. Originality/value – The authors argue here that risk perceptions play a prominent role in start-up decisions. Specifically, they consider that nascent women entrepreneurs perceive more risks than men, and that their view of risk partials out any potential influence of their perceived passion and self-efficacy on their start-up decision.

Keyword
Nascent entrepreneurs, Passion, Risk perception, Self-efficacy, Women entrepreneurship
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-23006 (URN)10.1108/IJGE-01-2013-0001 (DOI)2-s2.0-84924287915 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2014-09-17 Created: 2014-09-17 Last updated: 2017-08-15Bibliographically approved
3. Beyond the numbers: qualitative growth in women's businesses
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Beyond the numbers: qualitative growth in women's businesses
2012 (English)In: International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, ISSN 1756-6266, E-ISSN 1756-6274, Vol. 4, no 3, 289-315 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The purpose of this research paper is to investigate the growth of women's businesses from a qualitative perspective. The paper identifies strategic building blocks for defining a set of different growth platforms. Moreover, the paper investigates growth ambitions for women inside each identified "type" of growth platform and identifies critical motivation variables that can influence the decision to move from growing one business platform to growing another platform. Design/methodology/approach: The results are based on 191 women entrepreneurs. Data were analyzed by coding narrative statements from the survey into overarching themes for business platforms, descriptive frequency analysis and logistic regression analysis techniques. Findings: The paper discerned five different growth platforms and noticed intrinsic or extrinsic growth ambitions for platform growth. The extrinsic platforms are the most common, but all platforms can be characterized by equally high growth aspirations. Each of the identified platforms is associated with distinct and unique blocks that the women entrepreneurs try to put together and resolve in order to grow their companies. Women entrepreneurs move between the different platforms when the building blocks of previous platforms have been established and secured. Variables such as profits and ownership may explain such transfers of growth ambitions. Research limitations/implications: While acknowledging the qualitative growth of business platforms, the paper takes an approach that goes against the traditional view of quantitative growth. Originality/value: This study is a response to the lack of research on qualitative growth and women's entrepreneurship and suggests that the manifested qualitative growth can be in order to secure blocks on different business platforms.

Keyword
Business platforms; Entrepreneurialism; Gender; Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation; Qualitative growth; Strategic building blocks; Women's entrepreneurship
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-17854 (URN)10.1108/17566261211264163 (DOI)2-s2.0-84902506174 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2012-12-18 Created: 2012-12-18 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
4. The life cycle in women-owned businesses: From a qualitative growth perspective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The life cycle in women-owned businesses: From a qualitative growth perspective
2015 (English)In: International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, ISSN 1756-6266, E-ISSN 1756-6274, Vol. 7, no 2, 126-147 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate women-owned businesses from a life cycle perspective and with a qualitative growth approach. Building on previous research that has identified qualitative growth platforms, this paper takes into account the time aspect and investigates perceived barriers and support needs inside different qualitative growth platforms. Design/methodology/approach – The study took place in Sweden and is based on 191 women entrepreneurs in a first survey and 101 women entrepreneurs in a follow-up questionnaire three years later. Toanswer the research questions, descriptive frequency analysis and logistic regression analysis techniques have been used. Findings – The motivation of growth changes throughout the life cycle, and women entrepreneurs move between different qualitative growth platforms when required building blocks of previous platforms have been established and secured. In this transfer of growth ambition, a significant correlation between business age and intrinsic growth aspiration was identified. Initially, growth is extrinsically motivated and later on in the life cycle, it is intrinsically motivated. In the late life cycle, the motivation is extrinsically motivated again. The results discern barriers to growth that hinder movement from extrinsic to intrinsic business platforms, and the author argues that the transfer of growth ambition from one growing platform to another requires different types of advice and support from the surrounding community. Research limitations/implications – By broadening the view of growth to include both a quantitative and qualitative approach, it is possible to identify a widespread growth ambition in women-owned businesses which experience various barriers and supportive needs. Business programs that encourage exchange of experience among entrepreneurs in various growth platforms might be a way to overcome the perceived barriers. As women's businesses only receive a low proportion of the government funding, they are prevented from developing their growth ambitions. To ensure that all forms of growth are stimulated, different measures are required depending on which stage in their life cycle the women-owned businesses belong to. Originality/value – By considering business growth from a qualitative perspective, barriers and needs that the traditional approach may overlook can be highlighted. For example, growth aspiration in terms of more employees will not be considered until the previously, qualitative growth platforms are established and secured. The support system, however, is designed to only favor growth in terms of employment, which results in difficulties to qualify for financial support.

Keyword
Barriers to growth, Business life cycle, Extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, Qualitative growth, Supportive measures, Women’s entrepreneurship
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-23008 (URN)10.1108/IJGE-06-2014-0019 (DOI)2-s2.0-84930146182 (Scopus ID)
Conference
22nd Nordic Academy of Management conference "On Practice and Knowledge Eruptions", Reykjavik, 21-23 August 2013
Available from: 2014-09-17 Created: 2014-09-17 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved

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