Women-Founded Start-Ups: Bigger, Better, Faster, More!

Women-Founded Start-Ups: Bigger, Better, Faster, More!

Yaprak Kalafatoğlu (Marmara University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9163-4.ch003
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The number of women-owned businesses has increased in the last several years. This chapter begins with the theoretical background of women entrepreneurship, its history, and its influencing factors. The rate of women-owned enterprises is lower than men's in most countries. Women-owned enterprises are characterized by their small size and a business segment with less monetary value. Women in developing countries face additional challenges due to limited resources and cultural barriers. Therefore, the discussion follows issues faced by these women. The role of culture and a cross-cultural comparison are presented to gain a thorough understanding. The chapter includes a qualitative study and concludes with a brief outlook.
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Inspired by the album name of 4 Non Blondes



Entrepreneurship is defined as:

The process of creating something new with value by devoting the necessary time and effort, assuming the accompanying financial, psychic, and social risks, and receiving the resulting rewards of monetary and personal satisfaction and independence. (Hisrich & Peters, 2002, p. 10)

Entrepreneurs are people who are motivated to produce and work independently. Entrepreneurs are different than other members of society in terms of risk-taking, ambiguity tolerance, and motivation for self-employment (Daim, Dabic, & Bayraktaroglu, 2016).

Entrepreneurship in a gender framework is a popular topic for both academics and policymakers across the globe (Link & Strong, 2016). For example, in the mid-2000s, the International Labour Organization (ILO) began offering a women’s entrepreneurship development (WED) program for empowering women entrepreneurs in developing countries. It aims to support women in the promotion and development of start-ups. Likewise, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) presents a policy brief on women’s entrepreneurship to show gender gap comparisons across countries, differences between women- and men-owned businesses, challenges faced by women-led start-ups, running businesses, and policy support suggestions (OECD, 2017).

A qualitative meta-analysis was conducted to examine perspectives about women entrepreneurship by reviewing 143 papers published between 2006 and 2015. Research trends were grouped into seven topics (Aaltio & Wang, 2016).

  • 1.

    The conceptual development of the field was analysed. The agency theory and expectancy theory were used to explain the issues.

  • 2.

    Papers emphasized the scarcity of research. Additional studies in different contexts were suggested.

  • 3.

    Some studies mentioned that women-owned businesses increased across the countries.

  • 4.

    A comparison was performed between female and male entrepreneurs.

  • 5.

    Gender disparity, including male-dominant stereotypes, was emphasized.

  • 6.

    Some papers focused on the role performance of women entrepreneurs.

  • 7.

    Cultural and national differences on entrepreneurship in developing countries were studied.

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s (GEM) 2017 Report on Women and Entrepreneurship, women’s entrepreneurial activity passed 10%. It also saw an upward trend in female entrepreneurship across the globe. In fact, women entrepreneurs have different motivations. For example, some women become entrepreneurs as a result of feeling excluded in male-dominated companies (Lerner & Pines, 2010; Pines, Lerner, & Schwartz, 2010). Lack of equal opportunities and social exclusion can direct women to entrepreneurship as a means to inclusion for women and other discriminated groups (Pines, Lerner, & Schwartz, 2010, p.192).

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