Women are principal or majority owners in approximately 30% of privately held businesses, mainly in service professions that generate low revenues, have a high exit rate for owners, and have a high closure rate for the businesses. The child care industry, dominated by female owner-operators, is known for its high turnover of owner-operators with very few women remaining in the industry for 20 years or longer. Specific factors of human capital, social capital, or psychological capital that contribute to the longevity of ownership in this industry are unknown. The purpose of this qualitative research was to discover those specific factors that support the longevity of female entrepreneurs in the child care profession. Using a phenomenological strategy, in-depth personal interviews were conducted with 10 women who own and operate licensed child care centers (LCCCs) in Dallas County or Tarrant County, Texas and have done so for 20 years or longer. Semi-structured interviews with open-ended questions allowed participants to share unfiltered stories of their success. Data analysis using hermeneutic strategies grouped key words and concepts together in which patterns and themes emerged. Management skill is the only element of human capital that emerged as a contributing factor to an owner-operator's success in the child care profession. Higher levels of formal education and prior experience do not contribute to long-success in the child care profession. One element of social capital, bonding, emerged as an important factor for female entrepreneurs as they have strong bonds with their employees, husbands, and mothers. Four elements of psychological capital emerged as having significant influence upon an owner-operator's success, strong internal locus of control, resiliency, self-efficacy, and allocentrism. Stress management did not reveal any specific themes or patterns but stress management seems to be a context dependent decision with each entrepreneur selecting her own personal strategy to deal with stress as determined by the situation and those individuals involved. Recommendations include continuation of research regarding links between education and female entrepreneurs across multiple industries, relationships between human capital or social capital, and connections between allocentrism and entrepreneurs who provide human care.
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Entrepreneurship, Management, Early childhood education|
|Keywords:||Child care market, Female entrepreneurs, Small business owners, Success factors|
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