Exporting as a Means of Growth for Women-Owned Canadian SMEs

By Orser, Barbara; Riding, Allan et al. | Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Summer 2004 | Go to article overview

Exporting as a Means of Growth for Women-Owned Canadian SMEs


Orser, Barbara, Riding, Allan, Townsend, JoAnna, Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship


Introduction

A large share of Canadian job creation is attributable to the growth of SMEs, growth that is often a consequence of exporting. Yet, for the majority of Canadian small and medium enterprises (SMEs), business expansion stops at the border. Industry Canada estimates that approximately 11% of Canada's 2.2 million small SMEs engage in some form of exporting (Industry Canada, 2002). The typical small and medium-sized firm engages in less than three export transactions per year (Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade [DFAIT], 1999). These observations suggest that there may be considerable unrealized scope for Canadian firms to export.

At the same time, women entrepreneurs account for an increasing percentage of business ownership. (1) For example, Industry Canada (2002) reports that women wholly or partially own 45% of Canadian businesses. (2) However, women business owners are significantly less likely than men to undertake internationalization of their firms, even in growth industries (Canadian Bankers Association, CBA, 1997, 1998; Industry Canada, 2002; OECD, 1998). It has been stated that women-owned firms may present significant potential for exporting and economic development (McRae, 1998). (3) If exporting can be facilitated, particularly for new women-owned businesses, economic development will be furthered.

This study therefore explores the issues faced by women owners who have sought to expand their firms by export market development. For four reasons, this study focuses on the challenges faced by women-owned export orientated businesses.

First, a review of literature concludes that profiling Canadian women-owned firms in international trade is difficult because "few studies are done specifically on the characteristics of women-owned businesses in export; few studies on women entrepreneurs use markets served as a variable; [and] studies on export decision-making or behavior do not use gender as a variable" (McRea, 1999, p. 2). By focusing on women-owned firms, this work seeks to redress this gap. Researchers have also noted that the majority of export studies are drawn upon non-random, extreme case studies, high-potential ventures, small sample surveys, new independent firms or publicly listed companies, entrepreneurs and firms located in the United States, and (technology-based) manufacturing firms (Westhead, 1998). There is therefore a need to learn more about Canadian women-owned firms that export. Researchers (Brown, 2001, p. 38) suggest that this information "could enable more women entrepreneurs to learn how to become exporters."

Second, Bird and Bush (2002, p. 42-43) challenge researchers to look beyond the "masculine" paradigm of enterprise creation:

   The male-derived emphasis not only pervades these definitions and
   descriptions but also underpins that expected process of new
   venture creation, generally conceived as sequential, profit
   maximizing, and strategically and competitively focused ... In
   spite of this explanation for the dominance of male-driven theories
   of organizational creation, the effect of this emphasis creates two
   dilemmas. First, as useful and explanatory as these approaches are
   for men, we cannot be sure they adequately reflect the organizing
   process and organizations of women. While these approaches cover
   much variance among male entrepreneurs, their application to the
   female entrepreneurs is open to question.... The second dilemma is
   found at a broader level, where the omission of "feminine" aspect
   in theoretical discussions of new ventures and venture creation
   processes raises the risk that our studies suffer a lack of
   construct validity (Kerlinger, 1973).

A better understanding of the problems faced by women-owned, export-oriented SMEs will identify problems and opportunities encountered by other small firms. As such, learning from the best experiences of practices that women owners who have use to developed export markets will help assist all business owners to successfully export goods and services. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Exporting as a Means of Growth for Women-Owned Canadian SMEs
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.