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Gender as a determinant of small business performance: insights from a British study

Rosa, P. and Carter, S.L. and Hamilton, D. (1996) Gender as a determinant of small business performance: insights from a British study. Small Business Economics, 8 (6). pp. 463-478.

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The performance of small businesses, that is the ability of small firms to contribute to job and wealth creation through business start-up, survival and growth, has been an important area of policy and academic debate in the 1980s. Surprisingly little has been written about gender and small business performance. Our literature search revealed only a small number of studies of any substance on this subject, though over forty made some mention of it, Most studies shied away from direct examination of quantitative performance measures (such as jobs created, sales turnover, annual growth), tending to concentrate on qualitative measures of success or failure. The paper examines small business performance and gender using data obtained from a survey of 600 (300 women, 300 men) Scottish and English small business owner-managers, part of a three year study on the impact of gender on small business management. Analyses suggest that the relationship between gender and small business performance is complex, but that gender still appears to be a significant determinant even after other key factors are controlled for.