Academic journal article Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal

The Training Needs of Female Entrepreneurs

Academic journal article Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal

The Training Needs of Female Entrepreneurs

Article excerpt


This study investigated the training/consulting needs of entrepreneurs, looking in particular at how the training needs of female entrepreneurs may differ from those of male entrepreneurs. A statewide mail survey was used to collect importance scores on 23 training/consulting areas. The importance scores on training/consulting needs for the total sample revealed that the areas of Complying With Regulations And Taxes (the highest rating) followed by Cash Flow Management, Accounting/bookkeeping, Financial Relationships, then Advertising, Marketing, and Sales had the highest importance ratings. Recommendations on the use of the overall sample's importance scores are presented. Significant differences were found for seven of the 23 areas tested between males and female business owners. The female entrepreneurs had significantly higher scores on the training/consulting areas of Feasibility Analysis, Strategic Planning, Financial Relationships, Obtaining Business Licenses, Initial Processes and Procedures, Advertising and Government Procurement. Further analyses were performed to explore these findings. In additional significance tests conducted using a sub-sample of males and females matched on age, type of business, number of full time employees and age of business; no differences were found. The implications of these findings are discussed along with suggestions for future research.


In the last three decades, the growth of women-owned businesses in the United States has been phenomenal. The cultural trend of a strong desire for more independence by women combined with an increasing awareness of opportunities and political support has resulted in an escalating number of women-owned businesses. Females have increased their share of business ownership from 5 percent in 1972 to 34 percent in 1992 (Bureau of Census, 1976; 1996). In the same time period, the percentage of total sales attributable to women-owned businesses has soared from less than one percent to nearly 20 percent. The percentage of total sales is lower than the percentage of women-owned businesses because female entrepreneurs are concentrated in small service and retail businesses. The percentage of women-owned businesses has continued to grow, to 38 percent in 1999 as reported by the National Foundation of Women-Owned Businesses (cited in Bernstel, 2000). The percentage of total sales is also expected to grow as more women aspire to business ownership in industrial sectors. In an area where the situation is changing so dramatically there is a need for current information.

The growth in women-owned businesses is not limited to the United States. Female business owners are an international trend. Accountancy Age (2001) reported that one in three start-up businesses in Great Britain are run by women. Maysami & Goby (1999) documented the importance of female business owners in the economic growth in Singapore. This paper adds to the information on this major national and international trend by evaluating the training/consulting needs of women entrepreneurs.


First general background literature on female entrepreneurs will be summarized. Next studies comparing the financial concerns of male and female business owners are discussed. Then, studies on the training/consulting needs of women entrepreneurs will be reviewed.

As females migrated to ownership status, there was a concurrent increase in research on women-owned businesses. Several studies reported problems and concerns female entrepreneurs faced in starting and running a business (Aldrich, 1989; Brophy, 1989; Brush, 1989; Davis & Long, 1999; Hisrich, 1989; Hisrich & Brush, 1983, 1984, 1987; Nelson, 1987; Pellegrino & Reece, 1982). Two major areas of interest grew: the financial relationships of female entrepreneurs and the related training/consulting needs of female entrepreneurs. Several of these studies had conclusions containing suggestions on what needed to be done to create a better environment for female entrepreneurs. …

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