Financial self-efficacy among women entrepreneurs

Purpose – As the number of women businesses owners grows worldwide, it is increasingly important to understand the factors which contribute to their success. While entrepreneurship research identifies access to human and financial capital as being important, fewer studies explore the role of sociocognitive factors such as self-efficacy or confidence in one’s abilities to perform a particular task. This paper aims to examine gender-related attitudes toward financial management drawing from existing studies education, cognitive psychology, and entrepreneurship. Design/methodology/approach – The empirical study creates a measure of financial self-efficacy (FSE) and highlights the importance of age and racial differences among experienced, nascent and aspiring women entrepreneurs. Firm and individual-level data were obtained from a web survey and subsequent factor analysis and analysis of variance statistical methods utilized. Findings – Empirical findings only partially attest to the lack of confidence combined with anxiety about dealing with financial management. Age and racial differences are significantly related to FSE. Research limitations/implications – Sample size is relatively small and geographically concentrated. Practical implications – The paper suggests the need for more research regarding women entrepreneurs and their confidence with regard to financial management. It also suggests the need for possible interventions for women entrepreneurs to increase FSE. Social implications – This research examines gender differences with regard to learning math/financial management subjects and the potential need for single-gender entrepreneurial training programs that focus on finance-related activities. Originality/value – The paper developed a construct for FSE that is robust and significantly related to age and racial differences.

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