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Being taken seriously – shaping the pathways taken by Welsh female entrepreneurs

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages29
JournalSmall Enterprise Research
Early online date14 Jun 2017
Publication statusEarly online - 14 Jun 2017


  • Shaping_pathways_to_Self_Employment_for_SER_110517

    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Small Enterprise Research on 14/06/2017, available online:

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 438 KB, PDF document

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