Russian Female Entrepreneurs

Shuvalova, Anna S. (2009) Russian Female Entrepreneurs. ["eprint_fieldopt_thesis_type_phd" not defined] thesis, Buckinghamshire New University.

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The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and subsequent transition of the Russian Federation from a command economy to a free market economy changed the economic, political and social landscapes in the country enormously, opening the way to legalized entrepreneurship in the form of private business ownership. Women took an active role in this process, increasing the number of female-owned enterprises, expanding into new fields of business and contributing to wealth and jobs. This study aims to undertake qualitative research on female entrepreneurs in Russia, notably amongst women owner-managers of small and medium sized firms in Moscow, and to examine what motivated Russian women entrepreneurs to launch and manage their own businesses as they themselves understand it. The focus of this study is on women entrepreneurs and their entrepreneurial experience, rather than on their businesses. The research is based on 30 in-depth phenomenological interviews, which give rich descriptions of the women’s entrepreneurial experiences from the participants’ point of view. The study provides insights into Russian women entrepreneurs’ motivation, personal traits and management styles, which have been relatively under-researched in the literature. It also affirms the importance of the institutional context affirmed by other researchers (Aidis et al, 2005; Estrin et al, 2005; Peng, 2001; McMillan and Woodruff, 2002), who have undertaken research in former transition economies. The findings of the research confirmed that the women from the sample were motivated by external factors to start-up their businesses: they were either pushed into entrepreneurship by necessity, or drawn to it by favourable opportunities. When reflecting on their motivation, they identified intrinsic motives, such as the need for achievement and recognition, a desire to help others and to be a leader, to have an interesting job, fulfil their potential and realize their dreams. They attributed their success in business to their intuition, interpersonal and leadership skills, and stressed the importance of a strong personal drive, faith and the capacity to love humanity. In the context of an unstable business environment in Russia, the women were prudent when weighing risks, and relied on their personal informal networks to address complex situations in an effective way. The research makes a contribution to gender studies, proliferation of subjective qualitative methodological approaches in entrepreneurial research, and links motivation, trait, institutional, human and social capital theories, opening up interesting opportunities for further research on the intersections of these theoretical perspectives.

Item Type: Thesis (["eprint_fieldopt_thesis_type_phd" not defined])
Divisions: ?? BucksNewUniversity ??
Depositing User: ULCC Admin
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2015 07:53
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2017 19:19

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