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GENDER DIFFERENCES



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Page 1 of 19 GENDER DIFFERENCES BETWEEN FINNISH AND AMERICAN ENTREPRENEURS AN EXPLORATORY STUDY Jo Ann C Carland and James W Carland Western Carolina University Salme Nasi and Juha Nasi University of Jyvaskyla Finland ABSTRACT This paper examines the gender differences between Finnish and American entrepreneurs in terms of risk taking propensity innovation need for achievement and entrepreneurial drive The paper concludes that there appear to be more cultural than gender differences in the entrepreneurial behavior between the two groups INTRODUCTION Can American understanding of entrepreneurship be successfully translated to an understanding of the same phenomenon in other nations Just how much do the entrepreneurs in America differ from those in other nations If culture is enmeshed with entrepreneurship there must be differences and those differences are likely to vary from nation to nation This paper presents an exploratory study of gender differences in entrepreneurs from the U S and Finland The authors have approached the question by investigating the entrepreneurial drive and the key components of the entrepreneurial psyche as espoused in the American model ENTREPRENEURIAL CHARACTERISTICS http www sbaer uca edu research 1998 SBIDA 98sbi092 txt 5 7 2004 Page 2 of 19 To delineate a profile of entrepreneurs one must first examine the characteristics which embody that persona Many researchers have studied the attributes which provide an intuitive rationale for entrepreneurial behavior The first of these characteristics is the propensity for risk taking the earliest identified entrepreneurial characteristic Cantillion circa 1700 portrayed an entrepreneur as the individual who assumed the risk for the firm Kilby 1971 a perspective echoed by Mill 1848 Palmer 1971 added that risk assessment and risk taking are the primary elements of entrepreneurship Some studies have indicated no significant differences in risk taking propensities for entrepreneurs as compared to the



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