Understanding the woman entrepreneur: the dynamics of starting a business in Norway
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Purpose The purpose of this thesis is to examine women entrepreneurship in the regional context of Norway, and how factors in their micro and meso/macro environment affect their success. More specifically the thesis addresses the following research question: How does the interplay between the micro and meso/macro environment affect the success of women entrepreneurs in Norway? Research Method The paper exploit a rich set of qualitative data to provide an overview of the dynamics and key determinants of starting a business in Norway, from the perspective of the female entrepreneur. The data was collected using an exploratory design; 21 semi-structured interviews with 16 women entrepreneurs, and with 5 institutions from meso environment (support system). Secondary data sources including journals and reports were used to describe women entrepreneurship as a growing field. Conceptual Framework This paper builds on institutional theory, as well as Brush et al’s (2009) 5M Model (Market, Money, Management, Motherhood and Meso/macro environment). These constructs are all necessary for women entrepreneurs to launch and grow their companies. This thesis focus specifically on the latter two constructs of the model; Motherhood and Meso/Macro environment respectively. Findings The findings indicates that there is a mismatch between what the meso/macro environment can offer the female entrepreneur in Norwegian context, and the female entrepreneur’s actual needs and wants. This gap can be explained by factors relating to the microenvironment of the entrepreneur, including characteristics, personal life experience and perception of success. We choose to encompass all these factors into one this thesis call ‘Motivation’. This thesis argues that Motivation and Motherhood are both core elements on micro-level affecting the interplay with the Meso/macro environment, and consequently the success of the entrepreneur. Implications & Value The theoretical implication of this thesis is the extension of Brush et al’s (2009) model with a sixth construct, namely Motivation. Practical implications include a deeper understanding of the sources of challenges women entrepreneurs face, especially with regards to the interplay between the individual and the societal factors and institutions surrounding her. The findings are helpful for policymakers and others interest groups engaged with improving the conditions for women entrepreneurs in Norway. Furthermore this thesis aim to answer the call for contextualization of entrepreneurship research, and contribute to the growing body of knowledge relating to the influence of women’s entrepreneurship. Limitations While qualitative methods allow drawing certain generalization, it provides limited ability to search for new insides and explore unexplained so far phenomenon.
Master's thesis in Economic analysis