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The Diana project: pioneering women studying pioneering women

Holmquist, C. and Carter, Sara L. (2009) The Diana project: pioneering women studying pioneering women. Small Business Economics, 32 (2). pp. 121-128.

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Abstract

The 2007 winner of the International Award for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Research is the Diana Project team (Candida Brush, Nancy Carter, Elizabeth Gatewood, Patricia Greene and Myra Hart). The Diana Project builds on the vast experience of the team in the field of entrepreneurship in general and women entrepreneurship, business growth and venture capital in particular. The Diana Project has investigated the supply and demand side of growth capital for women entrepreneurs. The research contributes to entrepreneurship theory as well as to practice, filling a void in knowledge on growth-oriented women entrepreneurship. In this article we present and discuss the research contribution of the Diana Project, in the areas of entrepreneurship, women entrepreneurship and venture capital. We specifically discuss the value of researching a specific group of women entrepreneurs, those who want to grow their businesses, that very clearly demonstrates the positive potential of female entrepreneurship. The Diana Project has also moved research on women's entrepreneurship forward since its framework does not treat women entrepreneurs as 'other,' i.e., the project does not presuppose that women's entrepreneurship is similar to or different from men's entrepreneurship. It assumes that women's entrepreneurship is entrepreneurship and studies it from that point of view.