Abstract

Nearly half of all businesses in the U.S. are at least equally owned by women, while the number of women-owned enterprises is growing at a faster rate than all employer firms. Yet, the enterprise literature suggests that these women entrepreneurs face greater difficulties in financing than do men entrepreneurs. Research indicates that enterprises primarily owned by women do not perform as well as those primarily owned by men, in terms of failure rates and financial ratios. To explain the growth of enterprises owned by women despite these difficulties, this study suggests that not all women entrepreneurs are equal. Rather than comparing all women entrepreneurs to all men entrepreneurs, this study compares women entrepreneurs who are successful in their financing experiences to similar men counterparts. Whether this financing success also translates to comparative business performance is the focus of this study. This approach also addresses whether similar factors affect the success of both groups of entrepreneurs.

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