Women-owned businesses are the fastest growing segment in the United States economy. Between 1997 and 2007, women-owned businesses grew twice as fast as male-owned businesses, and accounted for nearly one-third of all privately held businesses. In 2007, almost 7.9 million women-owned businesses were in existence, compensating 7.6 million employees, supplying almost three trillion dollars to the United States economy. Little information is known about women entrepreneurs, causing a serious deficiency in the effort to increase the overall quantity of women entrepreneurs in the United States. Using a qualitative phenomenological research design, oral interviews were conducted, which addressed the lived experiences and successes of selected women entrepreneurs. The women were asked which personal characteristics contributed to individual success. Individual success stories provided the perceptions and lived experiences of a purposive sample of 10 successful women entrepreneurs who owned and operated a business at least two years, and met a financial or non-financial goal. Ten significant themes were identified: perseverance, providing good customer service, personality, tenacity, stamina, customer loyalty, refusal to fail, quality of products, individual childhood entrepreneurship, and community charity. Future research regarding life history, education, and family structure is needed to increase the knowledge regarding the examination of women entrepreneurs. Studies exploring the influence of family-member entrepreneurs on the career and decision of women to enter into entrepreneurship, or influence of genetic factors on the likelihood to pursue entrepreneurial activity, may help in understanding the long-term impact on successful women entrepreneurs. Additional research could be done on the childhood experiences of successful women entrepreneurs, such as: Does childhood vending/retailing have an effect on entrepreneurial success? Does childhood play, such as participation in life-based board games (i.e. monopoly or careers), or playing "store" have an effect on entrepreneurial success? Exploring the impact age has on women's capability to achieve success or the personal needs women meet through entrepreneurship that cannot be met through traditional employment, may also assist in understanding women entrepreneurs.
|Advisor:||Hammoud, Mohamad S.|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Entrepreneurship, Womens studies|
|Keywords:||Business success, Women entrepreneurs|
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