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Article
Publication date: 24 September 2020

Cecilia Dalborg and Yvonne von Friedrichs

In many regions, the potential of social entrepreneurship and social innovation are not fully used. The purpose of this study is to explore issues and challenges in the…

Abstract

Purpose

In many regions, the potential of social entrepreneurship and social innovation are not fully used. The purpose of this study is to explore issues and challenges in the business advisory support offered to social entrepreneurs and, from this background, give suggestions on how the advisory process to social entrepreneurs could be modified to better gain society.

Design/methodology/approach

Representatives from 15 business advisory organisations in Sweden were interviewed to examine how their support to social enterprises meets the needs of the companies, and to discover possible problems encountered regarding the business advice available to social enterprises. Using thematic analysis, six different overarching themes were identified that characterise issues and challenges in the business advisory support offered to social enterprises.

Findings

The results show that many advisers lack experience in social entrepreneurship, yet they consider that social enterprises are not “genuine” entrepreneurs, and that they, therefore, refer them to advisers focussing on co-operative enterprises. Furthermore, the absence of sustainable business models, the lack of financial resources and the existence of municipal monopoly are identified by the advisers as challenges.

Practical implications

This paper reveals an Achilles’ heel in the business advisory support offered to social enterprises, namely, the lack of experience and knowledge of social entrepreneurship amongst current business advisers, as well as a prioritisation of advice to more “commercial” entrepreneurs because of policy instruments and the expectations from the public funders of increased profitability and growth in the companies that receive advice. The mainstream business advisory service could play a key role by bringing together the various stakeholders in this shared value process. This would, however, require increased knowledge and new government policies and directives that ensure that social entrepreneurs are prioritised in the business advisory situation.

Originality/value

This paper demonstrates that the current advisory system is not adapted to fit the needs of social enterprises. It also proposes the need to include participation and proximity in the business model design.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2015

Cecilia Dalborg

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…

Abstract

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. To answer 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.

Details

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-6266

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2014

Kristin Reichborn-Kjennerud and Helge Svare

Research on entrepreneurship has documented differences in male and female entrepreneurs' growth ambitions. It has sometimes been criticized for disregarding important…

Abstract

Purpose

Research on entrepreneurship has documented differences in male and female entrepreneurs' growth ambitions. It has sometimes been criticized for disregarding important questions and contributions and for favoring a purely economic perspective. This includes a tendency to compare female entrepreneurs with a male norm. In this article, the authors, therefore, apply a more constructive approach and ask how and why entrepreneurial strategies are gendered. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

By analysing six cases, three female- and three male-dominated companies, the authors examined how men and women do business. The authors based the analysis on Miles and Snow's typology on product and market strategy and at the same time expanded it.

Findings

The findings substantiated that women and men have similar qualities as entrepreneurs, but women's ambitions and values tend to be different to those espoused by men. This influences their growth strategies. The Miles and Snow typology was adjusted to encompass different growth strategies; staying small or expanding. The article discusses the implications of these findings for regional development and sustainability.

Research limitations/implications

The research design in this article does not necessarily allow the authors to grasp the internal workings of a typical small- or medium-sized business. Neither does it provide generalizable information. Instead, the authors chose to focus on highly gendered sectors of industry to identify potential gender differences.

Originality/value

This article contributes to theory on the motivation for entrepreneurship and to research on growth strategies. It also contributes to the literature on Miles and Snow's typology questioning the taken-for-granted goal of growth in economic theories and raising the question of advantages of the choice of staying small. The authors direct the focus to perspectives of embeddedness and intersectionality as a direction for future research.

Details

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-6266

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2015

Cecilia Dalborg, Yvonne von Friedrichs and Joakim Wincent

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…

Abstract

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.

Details

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-6266

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 September 2012

Cecilia Dalborg, Yvonne von Friedrichs and Joakim Wincent

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…

Abstract

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.

Details

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-6266

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Article
Publication date: 7 January 2019

Nidhi Goel and Pankaj Madan

Benchmarking is a very important tool to know the gap in your performance and best performance. It is possible to apply benchmarking in a wide variety of area. This paper…

Abstract

Purpose

Benchmarking is a very important tool to know the gap in your performance and best performance. It is possible to apply benchmarking in a wide variety of area. This paper uses benchmarking for assessing women entrepreneurship. Women entrepreneurship is a symbol of the balanced growth of the society. Financial inclusion schemes offered by the government are aimed to encourage a large number of women of the country to entrepreneurship. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of financial inclusion and others factor like family circumstances, benchmarking, entrepreneurial motivation and entrepreneurial intention of women on their decision to take up entrepreneurship as a career choice.

Design/methodology/approach

This research study is undertaken to understand the relation of financial inclusion schemes on women entrepreneurship and also to develop a cause–effect relationship. Here, financial inclusion effort is an independent variable, whereas women entrepreneurship is a dependent variable. A sample size of 250 women entrepreneur was taken. The sample was selected on the basis of convenience. Out of the total sample, 125 women belonged to the self-help group and 125 women were registered under the RSETI program of lead banks of Haridwar and Dehradun districts of the Uttarakhand state of India.

Findings

The results of the present study indicate that there is a statistically significant impact of financial inclusion on women entrepreneurship. It provides the platform to the women that help them in establishing a new business.

Research limitations/implications

Data for present study were collected from two districts of Uttarakhand. In future, data can be collected from different geographical areas of India for generalizing the findings of the study.

Practical implications

The results of present study indicate that there is a statistically significant impact of financial inclusion on women entrepreneurship. It provides the platform to the women that help them in establishing a new business. For promoting women toward entrepreneurship, the government has launched many schemes.

Social implications

After the study, the author found that the society will accept the fact that women entrepreneurship is emerging as a dire need for the country.

Originality/value

The author followed all the guidelines that were concerned about the originality of the paper. This paper is not under review of any journal.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

Keywords

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