Despite rapid growth in female entrepreneurship globally, the gender gap in self-employment remains and women’s full contribution to the economy via self-employment continues to be unrealised. This paper explores pathways taken by women in Wales at start up and whilst running their own businesses. Female self-employment is a useful focus given current political interest and policy focus on SMEs revitalising the Welsh economy. Using a phenomenological approach employing narrative techniques and business life histories, a grounded account is provided of entrepreneurial practice from perceptions of the female entrepreneur herself. In their sense making, female entrepreneurs convey how lack of credibility (in terms of “not being taken seriously”) and consequently the pursuit of attaining an often elusive level of credibility, strongly shapes business decisions and entrepreneurial experiences and occurs regardless of levels of educational achievement, previous work experience or industry sector, adding a layer of complexity to business decisions and strategies.
- entrepreneurial capital