The Emergence of Women Entrepreneurs and Communities of Practice within the Global Context

The Emergence of Women Entrepreneurs and Communities of Practice within the Global Context

Florica Tomos (University of South Wales, UK), Andre Clark (University of South Wales, UK), Saraswathy Thurariaj (University Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia), Oana Cristina Balan (Cardiff University, UK) and David Turner (University of South Wales, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0013-1.ch005
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Abstract

This chapter aims to explore the emergence of women entrepreneurs across the Globe. Moreover, the authors analyse the existent research and knowledge about Communities of Practice (CoPs) and information communication technologies (ICTs) and raise awareness of their role in supporting women entrepreneurs. The authors attempted systematic and unsystematic literature review to investigate the emergence of women entrepreneurs across the Globe and the role of Communities of Practice. There was an unprecedented increase in women entrepreneurship. Furthermore, the barriers faced by women entrepreneurs in the developed and the developing countries are slightly different. CoPs and networking play an important role for women's learning. The chapter widens the knowledge regarding Communities of Practice and their role in helping women entrepreneurs and is an original contribution to the research field of women entrepreneurship.
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Introduction

Humphries and St Jane (2011) argued that the latest phase of capitalism sharpened the process of economic and politic globalisation. Considering Kuratko’s (2014) opinion, the capitalism is the main economic system which controls economies across the world. Likewise, Humphries and St Jane (2011) emphasised that the globalisation leads to a new orchestration of challenges such as poverty and segregation, opportunities and advantages. Additionally, they suggested that poverty is a direct consequence of the capitalism. Furthermore, they considered the actual economic system as a type of ‘Master’, whilst the capitalist routines were named by them as ‘the Market’. It infers that the ‘Master’ expanded its power globally, produced disequilibrium and affected negatively certain segments of the population. Moreover, the new global market, forced people into the global labour force, without meeting their needs: jobs, loans, financial help and standards of life (Humphries and St Jane, 2011). Within this context, entrepreneurship, which is considered to be the main mechanism for the economic growth, spread across the globe (Kuratko, 2014).

According to Kuratko (2014), in the last decade the world faced the appearance of a new type of entrepreneur, the ‘global entrepreneur’. Similarly, some authors (Edwards-Schachter et al., 2015) emphasised the role of the new reforms started by the European Union with regard to entrepreneurship and the creation of the entrepreneurial society. Although, there are certain opinions which emphasised that entrepreneurship is a male attribute (Ahl, 2006), there are also arguments presenting entrepreneurship either as a common characteristic for both male and female, or as a matter of identity for female entrepreneurs (Orser, Elliott & Leck, 2011). Entrepreneurship and the enterprise culture phenomenon were considered as crucial factors for economic and social revival (Warren, 2004). Although, women entrepreneurs bring a significant contribution to economic regeneration, they encounter many challenges and barriers which should be promptly addressed by the global society (Warren, 2004). Further, they engage in networks and communities of practice in view to create an ‘identity’, which could have the same meaning like any of the following two terms: profession and career (Wenger, 1998; Warren, 2004). It is Kuratko’s (2014) considerate opinion that, the entrepreneur needs to be perceptive, flexible, adaptive, creative and able to have both a global view and networking skills, in order to succeed in a very challenging environment. Kuratko (2014:23) defined the entrepreneurship as ‘dynamic process of vision and change’ and the entrepreneur as ‘an innovator’ who takes hold of opportunities and as ‘a catalyst’ for economic development and growth.

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