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    Diversity in independent retailing: barriers and benefits – the impact of gender

    Schmidt, Ruth A. and Parker, Cathy (2003) Diversity in independent retailing: barriers and benefits – the impact of gender. International journal of retail & distribution management, 31 (8). pp. 428-439. ISSN 0959-0552

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    As part of the European Social Fund-supported Retail Enterprise Network project, which aims to strengthen and support the work of independent retailers and service providers, this paper explores gender-based differences related to entrepreneurial activities in the UK. The paper looks at differences in motivating factors, personal variables in the make-up and background of entrepreneurs, as well as in business and structural variables related to the small- to medium-sized enterprises run by men and women. Findings show clear gender-related differences in terms of educational background, family support and attitudes and ambitions, as well as related to the availability of start-up capital, networking opportunities and the related maturational variables of turnover, return on investment and growth rates. Discusses current opportunities particular to female entrepreneurs and evaluates the advice and support services specifically targeted at female business owners. This sets the context for developing an agenda for further research and additional demand-based support measures aimed at this sector in the context of the Retail Enterprise Network.

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