Why Are Female-Owned Businesses Smaller? An Empirical Study in Canada and the United States

Female owned businesses tended to be less present in the manufacturing sector and more in the services sector. Female owners were significantly older than their male counterparts and had a longer tenure in their capacity. The smaller size of the female-owned business can be explained by several variables: in terms of entrepreneurial goals, female entrepreneurs put more emphasis on objective related to balancing business and family responsibility and less on extrinsic goals. This research also revealed that male business owners were taking their spouse’s contribution for granted when it came to take care of household responsibilities, whereas female business owners were more often expected to keep their social role within the home, even on top of managing a business. Female business owners were therefore deprived of the supporting role of a spouse and had less time to spend developing their business through strategizing and promoting. This might also shape the network perspective adopted by a higher proportion of female business owners, who need to resort to other expedients in order to maintain their business afloat. It would suggest that for women, networking is not a natural way of doing business, but rather a necessity.

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