Abstract

This paper reports an investigation of women’s perceptions of the experience of raising finance for the start-up and growth of their businesses, designed to address a number of conceptual and methodological shortcomings identified in existing research. At the conceptual level much of the research to date is based on the assumption of entrepreneurship as male entrepreneurship, taking that experience as the benchmark against which to judge female entrepreneurship and thus failing to recognise the socially constructed nature of gender and the possibly very different gendered manifestations of entrepreneurship. At the methodological level, in response to calls for more sophisticated approaches to entrepreneurship research, a methodology employing the critical incident technique was adopted in an attempt to give voice to women’s experiences as intrinsically interesting in their own right and not just in comparison to the assumed norm of male entrepreneurial activity.

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