Self-employed women in UK

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Between the 1979 and 1997 the number of self-employed women in UK increased by 163,from 319,000 to 840,000. The female self-employment has grown over the total period by twice as much as has male self-employment. (Sara Carter, 2000,p14, p167) Although they just present about 23% of all business start-ups, but the amount is increase (See Appendix 6). Women are represented in most lines of business, but mainly in the service sectors (Appendix 5). The forth line of business preferred by women entrepreneurs is hotel and catering. According to one of UK an Agency for Trade and Industry, Several results indicate that women entrepreneurs are more ambitious in this line of business than in other lines. And only a little more than half of women owners want to continue without changes.

Schreier’s (1973) pilot study of female business owners showed that the female entrepreneur had much in common with her male counterpart. Like men, the most frequently cited reason for women start the business was the search for independence and control over one’s destiny. (Sara Carter, 2000, p169) Sue (1989) believes that females are motivated by the same need for money, wish to be independent, and identification of business opportunities as their male counterparts. Peter Rose (1994) found that the use of personal savings is the same in both sexes.

On the other hand, Harold (1984) believed that female entrepreneurs would perceive more problems as occurring more frequently than the male entrepreneurs in the areas of general management, operations and finance. Schwartz (1976) found that the greatest barriers to female business success were financial discrimination, a lack of training and business knowledge, and generally underestimating the financial and emotional cost of sustaining a business.

China Town, a traditional Chinese takeaway at Warwickshire. The owner is Casey Wong, a female entrepreneur, 44 years old and divorced before three years. She lives with her only son who aged 12 years old. We contact with her because we are interested in how to manage and control a small business by a woman and what’s the characteristic being a woman entrepreneur, also we expect to know what’s the difference or similarity between female-owned business and male-owned business.

Main Body

Individual motivations, family background, education, and work experience are all factors, which influence the decision to start a business, the choice of market, and the environment within which the business operates. Casey didn’t need to think of the living fee before she divorced. Unfortunately, she had to consider earn the money when she leave home with her child three years ago. The most important thing is stable living for Casey and can take care her child at the same time. After discuss with her friends, she decided to set up a Chinese takeaway, because She has the relevant experiences and less risk and flexible time can feed the child and herself.

Education, training and course

The lack of previous working experiences and management skills is given as the key difference between male and female owners. According to an interview by an Agency for Trade and Industry, they point that women evaluate education, training and courses as very important, future fields of action in the entrepreneur policy. They estimate that it could have been easier for them to get through the start-up phase and the first four years of their enterprise if they had had easier access to relevant, targeted courses.

They want almost tailor-made, short courses on many different types of problems. This applies in particular to upgrading of professional training, financing and growth, and to courses concerning personal development. Casey has achieved the higher degree of education for accounting management; she could arrange the account by herself and make the statement of accounts. In addition, she has gained the more experience in other hotels and restaurants with fully training program.

The higher education and more experience for the work are most important factors for Casey to achieved successes. Focus on family/Child Female have more responsibility for the family and the education of children. For the male entrepreneurs, they can invest their whole time on the business, but women cannot be. They should divide their time for the both business and family. Peter (1994) argued, is usually women don’t enter business for financial gain but rather to pursue intrinsic goals. Thus, they assess their success in relation to their achievement in attaining their goals rather than on the more usual economic or financial measures.

Stanley (1987) believes that women see entrepreneurship as a means of accommodating their work and child-rearing roles simultaneously. They face discriminatory attitudes towards their career advancement and there is evidence that the small child gap is an additional Burden.Nan (1989) also found women work in occupations that mesh with the needs of children, such as the flexible working times. Hertz underlined that for mother, self-employment or entrepreneurship affords a greater opportunity for the flexibility necessary to combine domestic and employment responsibilities.

For the divorced women, desire to spend more time with their children as the major reason for creating their own enterprise. It offered more flexibility than a conventional organizational career, enabled them to take more easily the dual roles of careerist and mother. (Stanley Cromie, 1987)

In the case, Casey presents herself as an owner also as the mother. “It’s very difficult and conflict sometimes”, Casey says, “I want to control my life by myself and try to be independent woman, but I have to care of child and this really hold a majority of my life. In addition, I must earn more money as a man so that I can survive with my son.” Her son study in the Birmingham where drive about one hour from the Alcester. Every morning, Casey sends her son go to school and wait there till afternoon Alex finished, they come back together. Thus, Casey has to give up the lunch, but just open the take away at evening.

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