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Female entrepreneurship in Mendocino County, California

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Title: Female entrepreneurship in Mendocino County, California
Author: Keeble, Sarah Morgan
Abstract: The focus in this thesis is on female entrepreneurs and their experiences as business owners in rural Mendocino County. The purpose is to shed light on women’s experiences as entrepreneurs and to explore whether or not their experiences differ from male entrepreneurs’ experiences. Entrepreneurship is an increasingly relevant component of economic development in rural communities. Entrepreneurs add value to the local economy, lead to job creation and increased local incomes, help create sustainable local economies, and connect local economies to global economies. Studying female entrepreneurship is important because it sheds light on women’s differing experiences. Research guides policy, and when research focuses mainly on men, women can be left out of policy making decisions. Entrepreneurship is a useful economic development tool in hard economic times, and female entrepreneurs are a largely untapped and undervalued resource that may likely boost economic success. Research that helps to explain women’s experiences and that illustrates women’s vital contributions to local economies through entrepreneurship can encourage policy that further promotes female entrepreneurship. Promoting the well-being of any disadvantaged group of people will ultimately improve local communities and economies. Entrepreneurship is a route for integration and empowerment of minority and marginalized groups, a method for upward mobility and for curtailing labor market discrimination, and is an option when other economic opportunities are unavailable. Much of the existing literature about female entrepreneurship discusses women as essentially different from their male counterparts. The findings of this thesis support a small section of literature that refutes this focus by showing that more difference exists among female entrepreneurs than between female and male entrepreneurs. This finding is important because entrepreneurship is discussed as a naturally male phenomenon by many researchers. Male centered research exacerbates difference between genders and creates a misconception that all women can be served by uniform policy. Research that highlights the difference among female entrepreneurs can help shape policy that will encourage successful entrepreneurship among commonly overlooked groups of women such as foreign born or Spanish speaking women.
Description: Thesis (M.A.)--Humboldt State University, Social Science: Environment and Community, 2009
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2148/544
Date: 2009-12

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  • Masters Theses [874]
    A collection of selected Masters Theses in electronic format.

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