The Evolution of Female Entrepreneurs: Analyzing the Profile of Self-Employed Women in America Over Time

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Floyd, Carson
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University Honors College Middle Tennessee State University
Women were not very active in entrepreneurship due to societal pressures for them to be homemakers until the late 1900s. Then, more women began to start their own businesses. At that time, it was largely due to economic necessity or needing something else to occupy their time. Often, divorced or widowed women needed to make ends meet. As more women came into entrepreneurship and the motivations to start a business became more diverse, research on female entrepreneurs became more prevalent. In 1976, the first academic paper on women entrepreneurs was published. In 1984, the first longitudinal study to research women entrepreneurs with the same questions used to survey men entrepreneurs was conducted. The research conducted in this study utilizes the same survey used in 1984 to create a profile for women entrepreneurs in 2019 and comparing that to the results from 1984. In a field of limited research, this study builds on the literature of women entrepreneurs in order to help better understand them and what may be needed to support them.
Business, women entrepreneurs, evolution female entrepreneurs, U.S. women entrepreneurs, management skills, financial skills, access to capital, demographics self-employed women