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Spousal Roles on Motivations for Entrepreneurship: A Qualitative Study in New Zealand

  • Jodyanne KirkwoodEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

Little is known about the role the spouse plays in an entrepreneur’s motivations for entrepreneurship. A gender comparative qualitative study is presented, based on interviews with 68 entrepreneurs (45 men and 23 women) in New Zealand. A continuum of spousal support is described—those whose spouses are co-founders, supportive spouses, and unsupportive/ambivalent spouses. Findings show that women and men tend to have different expectations of their spouse when contemplating starting a business. A woman looks to her husband for business advice, for support, and encouragement and considers the effects that starting a business may have on her spouse. A man tends to assume support is forthcoming, and some men start businesses without explicit spousal support. Contributions to theories of family business are made.

Keywords

Co-founders Entrepreneurs Gender Motivations Spouse Support 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management, School of BusinessUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

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