Sunday, February 27, 2005

Women entrepreneurs are emerging as a major force in the U.S. economy


BusinessWeek Online reporter Stacy Perman recently spoke with Marilyn Kourilsky, a professor at UCLA's Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, director of the Institute for the Study of Educational Entrepreneurship and author of "The New Female Entrepreneur," about barriers female entrepreneurs continue to face and the ways in which they can break through them. Here are two important clips from their conversation:

Q: Why then, do you find that so many women want to start their own companies?

A: They have a real passion, and they don't want to work for someone else. It's the only way to really make it. Even with all the new successes cropping up the ladder, they still perceive that there's a glass ceiling and that the best way is to start a business of their own.

Q: What are the biggest male misconceptions about female entrepreneurs?

A: They don't think women are in for the long haul, like they are. They're seen as doing something as a hobby rather than something they need to do for their family. There's this whole culture: For instance, if you're in a group and a woman comes up with an idea and then a male rephrases it, it's accepted as his idea. I don't think women support women the way men support men.

The whole attitude toward gender is not changing as fast as it could, but we're still making progress. There was a time when women said they wouldn't go to a woman doctor. Now they make sure they do. I foresee a time when women entrepreneurs say they'd rather deal with a female vendor or entrepreneur.

Well ... what do YOU think? Agree? Disagree?

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