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Title: The characteristics and socio-economic contribution of female led rural enterprises
Author: Warren-Smith, Izzy.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3563 6461
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2007
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Rural enterprise needs to be encouraged to maintain the countryside - not just economically but socially and culturally. The logic for policy measures that encourage enterprise growth to reverse some economic decline In rural areas is clear. Business enterprises have been targeted as one vehicle to bring about rural regeneration. By 2000 over 50% of the UK labour force was female. The number of Female Entrepreneurs is growing; between 1979 and 1989 the number of self employed women doubled. In the last 10 years the figure has risen further and now runs at 26% (Carter et ai, 2001). However, there is evidence that Female Entrepreneurs, like their 'employed' colleagues, face more problems and barriers than males during start up and developmental stages of their businesses. A substantial portion of the difference can be traced to the opportunities and constraints on each. Recent focus has concentrated on the different relational perspectives, and historical organisational factors that have had effects on the ability of the Female Entrepreneur to establish networks that are relevant and wide ranging enough to allow their enterprises to develop successfully. There also exists a common misconception that suggests that enterprises that do form, contribute more to the low level Informal economy that any substantive contribution to the [rural] economy. Research in Shropshire (Warren-Smith, 1999) found that most 'non-farm but onfarm' enterprises were started and run by women, but that little formal support existed to encourage and sustain their growth. This thesis looks at some of the characteristics of the growing number of rural female entrepreneurs, assesses their contribution to the rural economy, looks at the levels of networking and skills within the group of rural entrepreneurs and highlights one project (Women in Rural Enterprise - WiRE). WiRE has been formed specifically for rural female entrepreneurs, initially in Shropshire/West Midlands, and considers why this specifically targeted kind of provision that is vital not only to economic development but to social and cultural sustainability in rural areas is not more widely supported and reflected in rural business support policy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Women in agriculture ; Rural women ; Women in business