Female entrepreneurs making connections: Networking by women small business owners

by Heald-Fisher, Stephanie M., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2010, 164 pages; 3397161


Entrepreneurs face a number of challenges in order to succeed in their businesses. As a result, they look for tools which can assist them in being successful. Networking is one tool available to entrepreneurs and some studies have shown it to be a valuable tool in a business's success. However, studies have also shown that women and men network with others in different ways and with different goals in mind. The challenge is to determine if networking is truly helpful to all entrepreneurs, regardless of gender. This quantitative study was designed to discover and explore valuable data that can help develop an understanding of how useful networking is in business and if male and female entrepreneurs use networking at a different level. This study builds upon earlier work conducted by Miller and Besser (2005). The original work was conducted on a national level. The target population of this study was a much smaller, regional area in Wisconsin. The instrument used in this study was a replication of Miller and Besser's survey. The results of this research were mixed when compared to the original study. It does indicate that entrepreneurs who use networking as a tool tend to have a higher perception of business success. Although the original study did not consider gender, this research reveals that male and female entrepreneurs used networks at approximately the same rate. It did not duplicate the original study's results with regards to perceptions on employees and customers. In both cases, there seemed to be less emphasis on these factors than in the original work. Among future research recommendations would be the study of why these perceptions differed.

AdviserJean Gordon
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsEntrepreneurship; Women's studies; Management; Gender studies
Publication Number3397161

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