Academic journal article Management : Journal of Contemporary Management Issues

Growth Aspirations of Slovenian Entrepreneurs - a Gender Differences Perspective

Academic journal article Management : Journal of Contemporary Management Issues

Growth Aspirations of Slovenian Entrepreneurs - a Gender Differences Perspective

Article excerpt

This paper aims at describing and explaining the differences in the growth aspirations of male and female entrepreneurs in Slovenia, in particular of those who are in the early stage of their entrepreneurial activity. This paper is based on Global Entrepreneurship Monitor data. Explanatory variables affecting the growth aspirations of early-stage entrepreneurs are related to the personal characteristics of entrepreneurs - their entrepreneurial capacity (skills and motivation), as well as to the environmental characteristics regarding cultural and social support for entrepreneurship and, to some extent, also to firm characteristics, especially the age of the firm. All these topics are analysed on the basis of gender differences.

Received: 3. 6. 2005

Accepted: 13. 4. 2006

Preliminary communication

UDC: 65.012 (497.4)

1. Introduction

Nowadays there is no longer any theoretical dispute that well-developed entrepreneurship has a critical effect on the success of national economies, that is, on economic growth. Two basic sources of economic growth through entrepreneurship can be distinguished, e.g. major established firms, and an entrepreneurial process taking place in new and growing enterprises (early-stage entrepreneurship), (Reynolds et al., 2002). In this paper, we especially focus on early-stage entrepreneurial activ. In our research, we made use of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) data base. GEM is a cross-national research program, aimed at describing and analyzing the entrepreneurial process in its early stages in a wide range of countries. It started in 1998 and since then has created a very rich database. Early-stage entrepreneurs are identified as those individuals, who are, firstly, personally involved in the creation of a new venture or who are, secondly, employed as owners/managers of a new firm that is less than 42 months old, while mature or established entrepreneurs are those individuals who have been involved into the entrepreneurial activity for longer than 42 months. Early-stage entrepreneurs are either nascent or new. Early-stage entrepreneurial activity is measured by the proportion of adults between the ages of 18-64 years in a country, who are engaged in setting up a new business (nascent entrepreneurs) or are employed as owners/managers of a new business that is no older than 42 months (new entrepreneurs). The two different causes for getting involved in an entrepreneurship are also distinguished: opportunity and necessity. Necessity-based early-stage entrepreneurs are those who engaged in setting up a new business out of necessity because they had no better choices for work, while opportunity based are those who are involved in entrepreneurship because an opportunity presented itself.

The data in the GEM research project are obtained from four sources. Primary data are obtained from a survey of a sample of the adult population (the sample in each country of at least 2000 adults), from personal interviews with national experts and from a detailed questionnaire completed by national experts, while secondary data are obtained from established international sources of standardised data like Eurostat, OECD etc. A detailed description of the methodology behind the collection of data within the GEM research is provided in Reynolds et al. (2005).

2. MEN AND WOMEN IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP

There is a great deal of evidence of the importance of female entrepreneurs in the economic development of a country with regard to their contribution to job creation and economic growth as well as to the diversity of the economy (Carter et al., 1997, Verheul and Thurik, 2001). However, the number of female early-stage entrepreneurs still lags behind those of male, as empirical research has confirmed (Acs et al., 2005). Men are more likely to be involved in the early-stage entrepreneurship than women in all countries analyzed in 2003, as presented in Figure 1. …

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