Opportunities and Barriers to Development of Female Entrepreneurship
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Publication date: 2004-07-25
GNPJE 2004;193(7-8):36-49
Unlike the USA and the European Union Member States, in the post-communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe publications on female entrepreneurship are scarce. Limited interest on the part of researchers in specific reasons for taking up and conducting business activity by women was partly due to the political and economic situation. In an extensive socialist economy there was high demand for labour, including female labour. It was also the maternity protection legislation and a relatively well developed network of day nurseries and kindergartens which contributed to combining family responsibilities with employment. In the transition period, due to bankruptcy of many enterprises women’s economic activity declined dramatically Establishment of own businesses by women is an alternative to growing unemployment. The article investigates reasons for setting up own firms by women in Poland, conditions influencing decisions on establishment of business, and obstacles to running companies. The obstacles to business activity have been divided into economic, educational, social and cultural ones. An analysis of these factors is preceded by a presentation of characteristics of fields of women’s business activity in Poland, as well as "female business" strategy and managerial methods. The issues of female entrepreneurship have been presented against the background of trends in female employment in the EU Member States and in Poland.
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