The myth of underperformance. The nature and role of female entrepreneurship in Wales

Christine Atkinson, Celia Netana, David Grant Pickernell

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    This chapter draws on qualitative primary research conducted into the business life histories of female entrepreneurs in Wales. It counteracts the discourse in more traditional extant literature which emphasises women’s “underperformance” in self employment, a perspective which does not stem from female entrepreneurs themselves. Contributing little to explaining the persistent gender gap in self-employment, the traditional approach may have been detrimental in relation to women establishing credibility in this field and perpetuates the assumption of entrepreneurship as an unviable career option for women and girls. Using evidence from a business life histories approach, this paper reveals the participant’s own interpretations of their experiences and social circumstances in which their business has developed, challenging the myth of underperformance in female entrepreneurship and allowing greater understanding of what female entrepreneurs actually do rather than where they are perceived to underperform.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Role of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Small Business Ecosystems in Regional, Rural and International Development
    PublisherTilde University Press
    Publication statusAccepted for publication - 8 Apr 2017


    • female entrepreneurship


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