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Rural women entrepreneurship within co‐operatives: training support

Eugenia Petridou (Department of Economics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece)
Niki Glaveli (Department of Economics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Article publication date: 13 June 2008




The purpose of this paper is to appraise rural women entrepreneurs, running co‐operatives in Greece. The paper seeks to examine the effects of training support on their entrepreneurial skills and attitudes, co‐operatives' viability and growth prospects, and work‐family balance.


An evaluation research was conducted in which 104 rural women members of co‐operatives, who had participated in a specific training program contributed. Anonymous questionnaires were used to collect data on participants' perceptions of the effects of the training intervention. Descriptive statistics, factor analysis and intercorellations were employed in analysing the data.


The data illustrate that participants perceived benefits in terms of skill improvements, i.e. identification and capturing of business opportunities, effective co‐operation and flexibility in decision making and more positive attitudes towards entrepreneurship. In addition, perceptions related to the development and growth prospects of the co‐operative and to work‐family balance have also been positively affected.

Practical implications

The effectiveness of an entrepreneurship program can be enhanced when it is designed to meet the real needs of the organization and thus is more focused. Training needs analysis prior to intervention is a prerequisite. Moreover, achieving work‐family balance can also be seen as an aspect of a co‐operative's performance that can be improved through training.


This paper enriches research on the effect of entrepreneurship training programs for rural women co‐operative members.



Petridou, E. and Glaveli, N. (2008), "Rural women entrepreneurship within co‐operatives: training support", Gender in Management, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 262-277.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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