The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between perceived desirability (attitude towards growth) and feasibility (entrepreneurial self-efficacy) of business growth and women entrepreneurs’ continued business growth aspirations. Hypotheses are derived guided by the Entrepreneurial Event Model (EEM). The authors also address the following research question: what reasons do women entrepreneurs state for wanting or not wanting continued business growth?
The sample consists of 93 of the largest independent businesses in Norway started by women entrepreneurs in 2004, 2005 or 2006 (response rate 57.5 per cent). The hypotheses are tested using logistic regression. The authors carry out a post hoc analysis of open-ended questions, containing a qualitative analysis of the reasons for not wanting or wanting the business to grow.
The results support the hypotheses. Controlling for industry, location and the women entrepreneurs’ age, perceived desirability and feasibility of business growth predict growth aspirations. Thus, the findings suggests that the EEM is an appropriate and useful model. Reasons are grouped in reasons relating to considerations for the entrepreneur, the business and the environment. The most common reason for not wanting the business to grow relates to business considerations, including that growth would jeopardize the quality of services offered by the business. Important reasons for wanting the business to grow include fun and excitement.
Policy makers and educators can encourage business growth by efforts aiming to increase the desirability and feasibility of growth. Practitioners as well as scholars should be aware of the inducements and costs associated with business growth. The study contributes to the entrepreneurship literature by exploring and identifying areas that both encourage and hinder further business growth among high-growth women entrepreneurs.
Research on women-owned businesses is still scarce, and few if any previous studies have surveyed growth aspiration in new high-growth women-owned businesses. The combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques is also a novel contribution of this survey.
The authors are grateful for financial support from the Research Council of Norway under the project “the role of women in innovative and growth-oriented start-ups”, making this research possible. The support was provided so that the authors could study high growth women-owned-businesses. The sponsor had no influence on this research other than the selection of the general topic.
Bulanova, O., Isaksen, E. and Kolvereid, L. (2016), "Growth aspirations among women entrepreneurs in high growth firms", Baltic Journal of Management, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 187-206. https://doi.org/10.1108/BJM-11-2014-0204Download as .RIS
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