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Women's Enterprise: Access to Finance and the Role of the Accountant

Carter, S.L. and Marlow, S. (2005) Women's Enterprise: Access to Finance and the Role of the Accountant. [Report]

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Abstract

This report is based on a triangulated research approach, combining both quantitative and qualitative research and thus offers a multifaceted exploration of the key concepts and issues. To explore the views of ACCA members on the issues of business advice and gender, an electronic survey of owners of small accountancy practices was undertaken, which elicited 564 responses. To explore the experiences of small-firm owners regarding funding choices and the use of accountants as business advisers, a telephone survey of 30 female and 30 male small-firm owners was undertaken. The issues arising from these surveys were explored in more depth through detailed, semistructured interviews with five female and five male small-firm owners and five female and five male accountants, who were themselves owners of small practices. Finally, to gain an external perspective, four bank lending officials, two Business Link advisers and four self-employment advisers from community support projects were interviewed at length to gain their views regarding how gender might affect business funding decisions and advisory preferences.