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Influence of motivational factors on women entrepreneurs in SMEs.

Introduction

Women entrepreneurs may be defined as the women or a group of women who initiate, organize and operate a business enterprise. The Government of India has defined a woman entrepreneurship as "an enterprise owned and controlled by a woman having a minimum financial interest of 51% of the capital and giving at least 51% of the employment generated in the enterprise to women". According to the Centre for Women's Business Research (2008), 10.1 million firms are owned by women (40% of privately owned businesses), employing more than 13mn people and generating $1.9 trillion turnover in United States (Paramjit Mahli, 2008). In India, women constitute around 48 percent of the population but their participation in the economic activities is only 34 percent. As per the Human Development Report (2007), India ranks 96th on the gender related development index of 137 nations. The gender empowerment measures, which estimate the extent of women participation in the country's economic and political activities, rank India as 110th of the 166 nations. In the sociological set-up, the Indian society is a male dominant one. Women are left with closed commitments only. Such sociological and cultural habits, have been keeping the women sector of the Indian population, a dormant one for quite a long time. In the emerging complex social scenario, women have a pivotal role to play. They can no longer be considered as mere harbingers of peace, but are emerging as a source of power and symbol of progress. The task of co-ordination of various activities in a much useful manner, is being well managed by Indian women in the families. A family is the nucleus of the society. Similarly an 'Enterprise' is the nucleus of the economy. An enterprise is the basic unit of an economic organization. Now women have taken up entrepreneurial role in order to create a meaning for themselves. The traditional roles of housewives are gradually changing into women entrepreneurs. Some of the factors responsible for these changes are better education, changing socio cultural values and need for supplementary income. When proper exposure, education and knowledge are imparted to them, Indian women will prove themselves to be highly potential productive force for the development of the nation. When a woman moves forward, the family moves and the country moves, in turn, the whole nation moves forward. Upliftment of women is an essential ingredient of human development. Entrepreneurship development among the women-force would strengthen the economy and promote regional development (Hisrich and Lerner, 1997).

Promotion of women entrepreneurs requires a multipronged approach. Women should be motivated to come out of their traditional occupation for accepting more challenging and rewarding economic activities. Today Indian government is more concerned about the economic development of women and for this; development of "entrepreneurship" among women has become an important aspect of plan priorities. A special Chapter on Women's Development had been included in the Seventh Five-Year Plan; it details the plan of action for "Integration of Women in Development". The Industrial Policy Resolution of 1991 had highlighted the necessity to provide special training programmes to develop women entrepreneurship and to increase the representation of women in the field of small industry development and to enhance their economic and social status. A broad based organizational arrangement for disseminating information, conducting women oriented programmes by banks and financial institutions, better linkage between institutes of entrepreneurship development and self help groups' entrepreneurship association at state level could pave the way for speedy development among the women. Audio-visual media should be effectively used to motivate women to become entrepreneurs. Screening video records of successful women entrepreneurs at colleges, and women organizations can go a long way in motivating new women to enter into entrepreneurship.

The study by Rani (1996) found that the availability of leisure time motivated women entrepreneurs from higher income classes. Contrary to the above, women entrepreneurs are forced to take entrepreneurship in the absence of any other means of contributing to family income (D'Cruz, 2003). The study also found that, family support and encouragements are the highest facilitating factor which helped women to aspire entrepreneurship (Pillai and Anna, 1990). Traditional concept of the entrepreneurship cited the desire to self-employed, to generate income and to utilize skills according to Hookoomsing and Essoo (2003), (Richardson et al., 2004). Women's reasons for starting business are not always often driven by positive factors but also due to negative circumstances such as low family income, lack of employment opportunities, dissatisfaction with a current job or the need for flexible work(Robinson, 2001), These factors tend to be most predominant among women within developing economies (Dhaliwal, 1998). A previous study also observed that the primary concern of women NGO founders in India is pursuing the NGO's mission than the earnings (Handy, Kassam and Ranade, 2003).

Thus the literature available serves a very limited purpose of finding into some of the facets of women entrepreneur. Moreover, very few of the studies have been conducted in the region of Coimbatore. The present study proposes to fill this research gap in the existing literature and to gain a deeper understanding and insights into the recent phenomenon of motivational factors of women entrepreneurs in SMEs. The specific objectives of the study are:

* To study the profile of the women entrepreneurs in Coimbatore district in Tamilnadu state.

* To find out significance of personal factors over the financial sources and the knowledge of technical know-how

* To identify the motivating factors influenced to undertake the present business.

The following hypotheses have been framed for the study:

H1: The personal factors have no significant influence over the financial sources

H2: The personal factors have no significant influence over the knowledge of technical know-how

Research Methodology

The present study is exploratory in nature. The study was carried out in Coimbatore district of Tamilnadu state selecting 125 women entrepreneurs doing different types of business. The data for the study was collected both from primary and secondary sources. Primary data was collected from selected women entrepreneurs through formal questionnaire. Secondary data was collected from the sources like D.I.C (District Industries Center), CODISSIA (Coimbatore District Small Industries Association) and from published data in books, journals, magazines reports and newspapers. The following tools were used for the analysis:

(a) Descriptive or Percentage Analysis

(b) Chi-square Analysis

(c) Average Rank Analysis

Results and Analysis

A structured questionnaire was framed and information was obtained from 125 women entrepreneurs in Coimbatore district. The collected information were processed and formed into different tables. The calculations are done using statistical package for social science (SPSS). The descriptive analysis has been mainly used to specify the consolidated opinion of the women entrepreneurs on various questions in the questionnaire. In this study, the percentage analysis is used to determine the opinion of the women entrepreneurs on various aspects.

Type of Business Undertaken

Women entrepreneurs engaged in the manufacturing activities, textiles, tailoring and services represented 25.6 percentage, 8.8 percentage, 13.6 percentage and 52 percentage respectively. It is known that majority of the women entrepreneurs are rendering various services to the customers like beauty parlors, computer centers and accounting.

Educational Qualification of the Women Entrepreneurs

36.8 percentage of the women entrepreneurs in the sample have completed only the school studies. 8.8 percentage are qualified as Diploma holders. Women entrepreneurs having under graduate and post graduate qualification represent 16.8 percentage and 8 percentage of the sample respectively.

Age of the Women Entrepreneurs

In the study 32.8 percentage of the women entrepreneurs belong to the age group ranging between 26-30 years at the time of starting the enterprise, 30.4 percentage belong to 20-25 years, 19.2 percentage of women entrepreneurs age ranged between 26 to 30 years, age of 15.2 percentage of women entrepreneurs ranged from 36 to 40 and 2.4 percentage represented above 41 years.

Marital Status of the Women Entrepreneurs

Married women entrepreneurs represented 76 percentage, 22.4 percentage of women entrepreneurs was unmarried and 1.6 percentage come under the category 'seperated'.

Form of Organization

Women entrepreneurs considered for the study manage different forms of organization. Majority (68.8%)of the women entrepreneurs are the sole owners, 24 percentage of the women entrepreneurs own partnership firms, 4.8 percentage of the women entrepreneurs run company form of organization and 2.4 percentage of the women entrepreneurs are from co-operative form of organization.

Results of Chi-Square Analysis

For Chi-Square Analysis, the factors in this study are classified under two groups. The first group contains the following factors, such as Type of product, Form of organization, Age, Marital status, Type of family, Educational qualification, Previous status, Present age, Experience, Location of the concern, Initial investment, Profit and Turn over of the concern. The second group contains the financial sources and knowledge of technical know-how. Table 1 represents that the initial investment made in the enterprise, experience of the women entrepreneur and turnover in the business have significant influence over the financial sources (Testing hypothesis 1). The Table 2 depicts that the initial investment, profit and turn over have significant influence over the knowledge of technical know-how (Testing hypothesis 2).

Results of Rank Analysis

The rank analysis was performed to determine the priority of women entrepreneurs on various issues. After calculating the average rank, the final rank was given by using the criterion "lesser the average rank more is the priority". The Table 3 shows the ambition of the women entrepreneurs. It is clear from the Table 3 that the women entrepreneurs' ambition to make money ranked first, second rank is given to the self employment, third is to continue their family business and the last preference is given to gain social prestige. Table 4 shows that there were compelling reasons for women entrepreneurs to start the business. It can be observed from the Table 4 that the compelling reasons for starting the business is to make use of technical and professional skills, which ranks first. Financial soundness of women entrepreneurs made to think to use the ideal funds ranks second; other compelling reasons which rank third and fourth are the unemployment and dissatisfaction with the previous job. The Table 5 shows the facilitating factors for the women entrepreneurs. From the Table 5, it can be observed that the women entrepreneurs have expressed that the facilitating factors of the women entrepreneurs are the success stories of the other entrepreneurs, previous association, advice from the family members and previous employment. The Table 6 shows the factors that determine the growth of the women entrepreneurs. It can be seen from the Table 6 that the main factor that determines the growth of the entrepreneurs is personality characteristics. The second, third, fourth and fifth ranks are recorded for preference of ownership by the entrepreneurs, family back ground, education and government support respectively.

Average Rank and the Final Rank Analysis

The rank analysis was performed to determine the priority of different categories of women entrepreneurs on various issues. After calculating the average rank, the final rank was given by using the criterion "lesser the average rank more is the priority". The Table 7 gives the average rank (AR) and the final rank (FR) for each of the form of organization on growth and motivational factors. From the Table 7, can be seen that the women entrepreneurs, who do the business in co-operative form have given first rank to entrepreneurs' ambition, compelling reasons and facilitating factors. Women entrepreneurs who do business in the partnership and company form of organization have given first rank to entrepreneurs' ambition, second rank to compelling reasons and third rank to facilitating factors. Sole proprietors have given first rank to compelling reasons followed by entrepreneurs' ambition. Whereas, the factors for growth was given last rank by the different category of women entrepreneurs. Thus it can be concluded that entrepreneurs' ambition ranks first among the women entrepreneurs who are from different form of organizations. The Table 8 gives the average rank and the final ranks for each of the marital status on growth and motivational factors. It can be seen from the table 8 that the women entrepreneurs, who are separated have given first rank for entrepreneurs' ambition; compelling reasons and also for facilitating factors. Married women entrepreneurs have given first rank for facilitating factors and second rank for entrepreneurs' ambition. Women entrepreneurs who are unmarried have given first rank for both entrepreneurs' ambition and compelling reasons and second rank for facilitating factors. It is also understood that the factors for growth was given last rank by the different category of women entrepreneurs. Hence the entrepreneurs' ambition and facilitating factor's rank are the first among the women entrepreneurs, who are having different having marital status.

The Table 9 gives the average rank and the final rank for each of the educational qualification on growth and motivational factors. It can be seen from the Table 9 that the women entrepreneurs having school level education have given first rank for entrepreneurs' ambition and second rank for both compelling reasons and facilitating factors. Women entrepreneurs who have completed their diploma courses and post graduation have given first rank for entrepreneurs' ambition and second rank for both compelling reasons and facilitating factors. Illiterate women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs with under graduation have given first rank for entrepreneurs' ambition compelling reasons and facilitating factors. Also, the factors for growth was given last rank by the different category of the women entrepreneurs. Whereas the entrepreneurs' ambition ranks first among the women entrepreneurs who have different educational qualifications. The Table 10 gives the average rank and the final ranks for each of the profit, growth and motivational factors. It is shown in Table 10 that women entrepreneurs earning profit below Rs 1 lakh per year have given first rank for entrepreneurs' ambition, compelling reasons and facilitating factors. Women entrepreneurs who are earning profit per year from Rs. 2-5 lakhs have given first rank to entrepreneurs' ambition, second rank for compelling reasons and third rank for facilitating factors. Women entrepreneurs getting profits between Rs. 1-2 lakhs have given first rank to entrepreneur ambition and facilitating factors ranks first for the women entrepreneurs earning profits above Rs 5 lakhs. Hence, the factors for growth was given last rank and entrepreneurs' ambition ranks first among the women entrepreneurs.

Conclusion

The women entrepreneurs in Coimbatore district choose to engage in service sector business such as beauty parlors, computer centers and accounting. Most of the married women entrepreneur with minimum qualification of education started their business at the age ranging between 26-30 years as sole owners. The financial sources mobilized and the knowledge of technical know-how of women entrepreneurs are influenced by the initial investment, previous experience in the business, profit and turnover.

In their pursuit of supporting themselves and their families, entrepreneurs demonstrated that they possessed the entrepreneurial characters that are required to achieve the growth in the business. Women entrepreneurs are motivated to take the sole owner entrepreneurship to utilize the technical and professional skill possessed. Unmarried and separated women entrepreneurs' motivating factors are profit and technical skill possessed. However, married women entrepreneur decision is based on the family member's advice and previous association. Thus, the women entrepreneurs in Coimbatore has revealed that profit, previous experience gained in the business and personality characters have influenced the women entrepreneurs to take the entrepreneurship.

References

D'Cruz., N. K. (2003), Constraints on Women Entrepreneurship Development in Kerala:. An Analysis of Familial, Social and Psychological Dimensions. Thiruvananthapuram, India, Centre for Development Studies.

Dhaliwal S. (1998), "Silent Contributors: Asian Female Entrepreneurs and Women in Business", Women's Studies International Forum, Vol. 21 (5), pp. 469-474.

Handy F., Kassam M. and Ranade S. (2003), Factors Influencing Women Entrepreneurs of NGOs in India, Nonprofit Management and Leadership, Vol. 13 (2), pp. 139-154.

Hisrich R. and Lerner M. (1997), "Israeli Women Entrepreneurs", Journal of Business Venturing, Vol. 12 (4), pp. 315-339.

Hookoomsing P. D. and Essoo V. (2003), promoting female entrepreneurship in Mauritius: Strategies in training and development. SEED Working Paper No. 58: Series on Women's Entrepreneuship development and Gender Equality-WEDGE, International Labour Office, Geneva and ILO Antananarivo.

Human Development Report (2007), United Nations Development Programme, USA.

Paramjit, Mahli (2008), "Marsha Firestone on the Future for Women Entrepreneurs", Journal of Financial Planning, Dec, pp. 14.

Pillai N. C. and Anna V. (1990), "The Entrepreneurial spirit Among Women, A study of Kerala", Indian Management, Nov-Dec. pp. 93-98

Rani D. L. (1996), Women Entrepreneurs, New Delhi, APH Publishing House.

Richardson P. R. Howrath and G. Finnegan (2004), The challenges of growing small businesses: Insight from women entrepreneurs in Africa. SEED Working Paper No.47: Series on Women's Entrepreneurship Development and Gender Equality--WEDGE International Labour Office, Geneva.

Robinson S. (2001), "An examination of entrepreneurial motives and their influence on the way rural women small business owners manage their employees", Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, Vol. 6 (2), pp. 151-167.

J. Suganthi *

* PSG College of Technology, Peelamedu, Coimbatore--641004, Tamilnadu, India

* E-mail: suganthia9@gmail.com
Table 1: Chi-Square Analysis-Personal Factors and Financial Sources

Personal Factors Chi-square Value Probability S/NS

Type of product 7.786 0.2542 NS
Form of organization 7.149 0.0673 NS
Age 7.440 0.5914 NS
Marital status 3.849 0.2782 NS
Type of family 1.416 0.7018 NS
Educational qualification 8.732 0.7264 NS
Previous status 9.126 0.4257 NS
Present age 7.594 0.8160 NS
Experience 12.759 0.0470 S
Location of the concern 2.116 0.9087 NS
Initial investment 14.430 0.0024 S
Profit 12.686 0.1774 NS
Turn over 20.981 0.0018 S

i.e. Significant (S); Not Significant(NS)

Table 2: Chi-square Analysis-Personal Factors and Knowledge of
Technical Know-how

Personal Factors Chi-square Value Probability S/NS

Type of product 10.682 0.0987 NS
Form of organization 3.453 0.3269 NS
Age 6.014 0.4216 NS
Marital status 3.18 0.3647 NS
Type of family 1.636 0.6513 NS
Educational qualification 6.868 0.8662 NS
Previous status 4.207 0.6486 NS
Present age 7.712 0.5634 NS
Experience 1.865 0.7606 NS
Location of the concern 4.702 0.1950 NS
Initial investment 50.734 0.0000 S
Profit 17.132 0.0088 S
Turn over 29.525 0.0000 S

i.e. Significant (S); Not Significant(NS)

Table 3: Entrepreneurs' Ambition

Ambition Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3 Rank 4 Average Final
 Rank Rank

To Make Money 52 40 18 10 1.9 1

To Generate Self
Employment 42 38 27 17 2.2 2

To Continue the
Family Business 17 3 29 41 2.8 3

To Gain Social
Prestige 13 10 45 51 3.1 4

Table 4: Compelling Reasons

Response Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3 Rank 4 Average Final
 Rank Rank

Dissatisfaction
With The
Previous Job 8 46 23 42 2.8 4

Unemployment 26 25 36 32 2.6 3

To Make Use Of
Ideal Funds 44 15 36 26 2.4 2

To Make Use Of
Technical And 46 33 24 19 2.1 1
Professional
Skill

Table 5: Facilitating Factors

Facilitating Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3 Rank 4 Average Final
Factors Rank Rank

Success Stories
of Other
Entrepreneurs 43 14 48 14 2.3 1

Previous
Association 42 21 37 20 2.3 1

Advise from
Family Members 21 67 15 20 2.3 1

Previous
Employment 18 17 19 65 3.1 2

Table 6: Factors for Growth

Growth Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3 Rank 4

Personality characteristics 36 52 1 21

Family background 32 24 7 29

Government support 22 22 11 31

Education 26 19 11 33

Ownership preferred 8 2 89 5

Growth Rank 5 Average Final
 Rank Rank

Personality characteristics 11 2.6 1

Family background 27 3.8 3

Government support 33 4.5 5

Education 33 4.4 4

Ownership preferred 15 3.6 2

Table 7: Average Ranks--Form of Organization, Growth and Motivational
Factors

Form of Organizations Entrepreneurs' Compelling
 Ambition Reasons

AR Sole 2.49 2.48
Proprietorship
FR 2 1

AR 2.48 2.52
Partnership Firm
FR 1 2

AR 2.50 2.50
Co operative form of Organization
FR 1 1

AR 2.49 2.50
Company form of Organization
FR 1 2

Form of Organizations Facilitating Factors for
 Factors Growth

AR Sole 2.50 3.01
Proprietorship
FR 3 4

AR 2.53 3.01
Partnership Firm
FR 3 4

AR 2.50 3.00
Co operative form of Organization
FR 1 2

AR 2.51 2.99
Company form of Organization
FR 3 4

Table 8: Average Ranks--Marital Status, Growth and Motivational
Factors

Marital Status Entrepreneurs' Compelling Facilitating Factors
 Ambition Reasons Factors for Growth

AR 2.50 2.50 2.51 2.99
Unmarried
FR 1 1 2 3

AR 2.49 2.52 2.48 3.02
Married
FR 2 3 1 4

AR 2.50 2.50 2.50 3.00
Separated
FR 1 1 1 2

Table 9: Average Ranks-Educational Qualification, Growth and
Motivational Factors

Educational Entrepreneurs' Compelling Facilitating Factors
Qualification Ambition Reasons Factors for
 Growth

AR 2.50 2.50 2.50 3.00
Illiterate
FR 1 1 1 2

AR 2.25 2.51 2.51 3.00
School Level
FR 1 2 2 3

AR 2.50 2.50 2.50 3.01
Under Graduation
FR 1 1 1 2

AR 2.50 2.52 2.52 2.99
Post Graduation
FR 1 2 2 3

AR 2.47 2.50 2.50 3.00
Diploma
FR 1 2 2 3

AR 2.50 2.52 2.52 3.03
Professional
FR 1 3 2 4

Table 10: Average Ranks-Profit per Year, Growth and Motivational
Factors

Profit per Year Entrepreneurs' Compelling Facilitating Factors
 Ambition Reasons Factors for
 Growth

AR 2.50 2.50 2.50 3.00
Below Rs 1 lakh
FR 1 1 1 2

AR 2.51 2.52 2.52 2.99
Rs 1-2 lakhs
FR 1 2 2 3

AR 2.47 2.50 2.53 2.99
Rs 2-5 lakhs
FR 1 2 3 4

AR 2.55 2.55 2.52 3.00
Rs 5 lakhs & above
FR 2 2 1 3
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Author:Suganthi, J.
Publication:Asia-Pacific Business Review
Date:Jan 1, 2009
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