The role of gender in US microenterprise business plan development

  • R. G. Cook, P. Belliveau and C. Lentz (2007). Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 241-251
  • Abstract: Purpose - This paper proposes to examine the role that gender plays in a microenterprise program (MEP) that focused on developing quality business plans. Design/methodology/approach - Data were collected over four years from 1,013 participants in a microenterprise business development program. Empirical evidence is presented on the outcomes of the program. Findings - Women and men had similar program completion rates and similar overall business plan scores. However, women scored significantly better on the presentation of their plan to judges. The level of formal education a participant had upon entering the program mattered, but only for women. Research limitations/implications - Further research could determine whether the type of formal education made a difference in producing higher scoring plans (liberal arts, business, etc.) or is it the process of formal learning that matters? Startups and existing firms, segmentation of firm type (retail, service, etc.) should be researched in conjunction with gender. Practical implications - MEPs that emphasize helping women should pay particular attention to the level of formal education a participant has upon entering the program. Women were also found to do a better job of explaining their business plan to outsiders, which should enhance their growth potential. Originality/value - This article systematically examines differences that gender makes in completing a business plan development program.
  • Theme: Women/Gender
  • Keywords: Business planning, Gender, United States of America
  • Reference type: Journal Article
  • Geographic location: United States, North America, Global North
  • Quality:
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