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START-UP FINANCING SOURCES: DOES GENDER MATTER? SOME EVIDENCE FOR EU AND ROMANIA

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Author(s): Badulescu Alina

Journal: Annals of the University of Oradea : Economic Science
ISSN 1222-569X

Volume: 1;
Issue: special;
Start page: 207;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: entrepreneurship | women entrepreneurship | financial sources for business start-up

ABSTRACT
Although financial resources are very important in SMEs in general, and for start-ups in particular, many entrepreneurs face numerous restrictions in finding sources for start-up financing. The present article aims to investigate the similarities or differences in start-up financing sources due to gender issues, otherwise to investigate if female entrepreneurs use (or have access) different financial sources in the early stage of their business. As reported by the literature, access to finance is one of the most important issues for SMEs and nascent entrepreneurs. Moreover, among the main financial issues, the first one is the access to start-up finance (Schwartz, 1976; Carter and Cannon, 1992; Johnson and Storey, 1993; Koper, 1993; Van Auken et al, 1993; Carter and Rosa, 1998, FOBS survey 2005). In all sectors, women use for starting up businesses substantially less capital then men. Women encounter, more then men, credibility problems when dealing with bankers. This problem causes important effects concerning the performance, survival and growth of women-run businesses. The present research focuses on revealing how male and female entrepreneurs face and solve the problem of start-up financing sources. The methodology is based on using the dataset "Enterprises managed by the founder - broken down by gender of the entrepreneur", available in EUROSTAT database. The data selected refers to the start-up financing sources available for European Union and Romania, regarding activities included in NACE: Industry and services excluding public administration and management activities of holding companies and 2005 as time of reference. The data were used to make some comparison between: male versus female entrepreneurs in EU; male versus female entrepreneurs in Romania; EU entrepreneurs versus Romanian entrepreneurs. The main findings reveal that there are no significant differences between men and women concerning the start-up financing sources. The main sources are the internal ones: own fund and savings (ranging from 82% to 92%), and financial assistance from family and friend (ranging from 25% to 34%), both for male and female entrepreneurs, both for EU as an aggregate and Romania. Among the external sources, bank loans are the most important: they have been indicated by 17% of the females (EU) and 19% of the males, about 10 times more than the other external sources together: capital contributions from other enterprises and venture capital. There are no significant gender differences in EU case, and also there are not in the case of Romania. Apparently, gender does not matter about sources used for start-up financing. The most significant difference concerns the financial support from public authorities as financial source. The number of female entrepreneurs indicating financial support from public authorities as a source for start-up financing represents 6.18% in EU, versus 0.17% in Romania (36 times less in Romania than the EU average), while for men the figures are 4.85% in EU versus 0.30% in Romania (16 times less in Romania). This gap brings again in front of policy responsible the imperative of financially supporting nascent entrepreneurs, as the key to sustainable economic growth.

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