Historical Encyclopedia of American Women Entrepreneurs: 1776 to the Present

Historical Encyclopedia of American Women Entrepreneurs: 1776 to the Present

Historical Encyclopedia of American Women Entrepreneurs: 1776 to the Present

Historical Encyclopedia of American Women Entrepreneurs: 1776 to the Present

Synopsis

Women, through their entrepreneurial endeavors, have been major contributors to the structure and economic success of the United States; yet the scope and breadth of their accomplishments have gone unrecognized. This book adds the entrepreneurial stories of over 100 women to the historical record and provides a much needed resource to researchers and educators in the fields of entrepreneurship, business, management, sociology, economics, and women's studies.

Excerpt

The women in this volume and I have something important in common -- we started out in one direction, and life's circumstances landed us on a whole different path. My original goal was to develop a course for my students on the entrepreneurial ventures of American women from a historical perspective. The intent was to demonstrate that these women had managed to be important economic contributors even when the odds were significantly against them. An objective was to highlight these role models so that students would be encouraged to follow their own dreams. However, I could find little resource material on the subject. The primary content of the literature was on how to start a business. The works that did speak of innovators themselves were primarily written by men, had a male focus, and, if they mentioned women, implied that female entrepreneurs were a "recent" phenomena. Both the invisibility of women and the inaccuracy of what was written redirected my effort to write a book. It was the insight of Nita Romer, an acquisitions editor at Greenwood Publishing Group, who saw, in my original proposal submission, the embryo of a more extensive work on entrepreneurial American women. For this, I am truly grateful.

The women profiled in this encyclopedia are different in many ways. They are economically, ethnically, racially, physically, spiritually, and generationally diverse; they cross cultural and social classes; and they represent different organizational entities in all regions of this country and some that reach out into other lands. These female innovators also are similar in many ways. They faced obstacles that entrepreneurial men, by virtue of their gender, did not have to face; they were women of courage, stamina, and tenacity; they were talented jugglers of the demands from multiple social roles; and they achieved against the odds. This work is a celebration of these women.

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