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Developing women entrepreneurs' knowledge, skills and attitudes through e‐mentoring support

Lida P. Kyrgidou (School of Economics and Business Administration, International Hellenic University, Thessaloniki, Greece)
Eugenia Petridou (Department of Economics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Article publication date: 31 July 2013

Abstract

Purpose

The present paper aims at discussing the transformative potential of an e‐mentoring support with regard to mentors' and mentees' learning and behavioral aspects, through an empirical study based on rural women entrepreneurs in Greece.

Design/methodology/approach

Mentors' and mentees' perceptions with regard to the benefits they acquired in terms of knowledge, skills and behavioral aspects were assessed through questionnaires that were collected in three time periods – before, right after and six months upon the completion of the intervention.

Findings

E‐mentoring can serve as a dynamic, two‐fold relationship that can create a significant learning database benefiting both sides. Mentees' knowledge and skills were positively influenced, while their attitudes facing uncertainty, flexibility and innovation were found to be strongly influenced in the short and long run. Mentors did not seem to acquire extraordinary benefits from e‐mentoring in terms of knowledge and skills, while their attitudes towards flexibility and interest in people demonstrate a marginally negative tendency. Both mentors' and mentees' self‐confidence demonstrated an increased tendency and was influenced throughout the intervention and six months upon its completion.

Practical implications

Besides benefiting the direct e‐mentoring participants and enhancing the development of women entrepreneurship, findings can also significantly benefit management and policy‐makers alike, creating avenues to further advance future efforts and practices in raising tomorrow's women entrepreneurs.

Originality/value

Theoretical and empirical evidence in the field of e‐mentoring as well as on encouraging future women entrepreneurs remains scarce. The present paper constitutes a first step towards suggesting an approach to e‐mentoring practices, raising awareness and faith with regard to the beneficial role that e‐mentoring support can have in the development of women entrepreneurship.

Keywords

Citation

Kyrgidou, L.P. and Petridou, E. (2013), "Developing women entrepreneurs' knowledge, skills and attitudes through e‐mentoring support", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp. 548-566. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSBED-04-2013-0061

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited