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Understanding Motivations of Female Students to Become Entrepreneurs: A Qualitative Approach Sabrina O. Sihombing sabrinasihombing@gmail.

com Universitas Pelitas Harapan Abstract Becoming an entrepreneur is one aim of many students after completing the study. This is because entrepreneurships offer many benefits such as owning business and a possibility of having significant financial rewards than working for others. Students can also be considered as the primary resource of future entrepreneurs. Several studies have examined students motivation to become an entrepreneur. However, little research has conducted to examine female students motivation to become entrepreneur. It is important to understand female students motivation to become entrepreneur. This is because gender inequality still exists especially in developing countries. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to enhance the understanding motivations of female students to become entrepreneurs. In depth interviews with five female students were conducted to explore their motivations to become an entrepreneur. The result shows that financial independence (pull motivation) is main motivation for female students to become entrepreneur. However, another important motivation is flexibility (push motivation). This results shows entrepreneur motivations are intertwined. Limitations as well as future research are discussed. Key words: entrepreneur, students, qualitative approach If I give a man a fish, then I feed for him a day. If I teach a man to fish, then I feed him for life. If I teach a man to fish responsibly, then not only do I feed him, but the rest of his village as well, for generations to come. (Kao, 1993) Background to research problem Becoming an entrepreneur is one aim of many students after completing the study. This is because entrepreneurships offer many benefits such as owning business and a possibility of having significant financial rewards than working for others. Students can also be considered as the primary resource of future entrepreneurs.

International Seminar & Conference Fakultas Ekonomi UNJ 9 & 10 November 2010

Several studies have examined students motivation to become an entrepreneur (for examples: Segal et al., 2005; Linan and Chen, 2006; Engle et al., 2008; Izquierdo and Buelens, 2008; Shook and Bratianu, 2008; Van Gelderen et al., 2008; El Harbi et al., 2009). However, little research has conducted to examine female students motivation to become entrepreneur. It is important to understand female students motivation to become entrepreneur. This is because gender inequality still exists especially in developing countries. Therefore, the objective of this research is to understand motivations of female students to become entrepreneurs. Thus, the main research question for this research is what motivates female students to become entrepreneurs? In order to back-up the research question, there be six more detailed questions were applied as follows: 1. What motivates female students to become entrepreneurs? 2. How interested are you in becoming an entrepreneur? 3. What type of support do female students receive from their family to become entrepreneurs?

4. How much have female students already prepared to become entrepreneurs?


5. Are there any gender differences toward being an entrepreneur? 6. How soon are you going to become an entrepreneur? This paper is organized as follows. First, justifications of the research are presented. Then, the literature review on about entrepreneur and entrepreneur motivations and intentions are provided. The next section is research method followed by results of this research. Finally, this paper provides conclusions of this research. Justifications to the research This research can be justified on these two grounds as follows: (1) the need of research on intention of female students to become entrepreneurs and (2) potential contributions of the research for theory and practice. The need of research on intention of female students to become entrepreneurs. Many researches have been conducted to understand entrepreneurs. For example, some research shows the characteristics of entrepreneurs (Nair and Pandey. 2006) and motivation to become an entrepreneur (Manolova et al., 2008; Buang and Yusof, 2006; Segal et al., 2005). According to Baron (1999, cited by Cohoon et al., 2010), entrepreneurs have a stereotypically masculine image. However, there is significant increasing of women entrepreneurs nowadays. Therefore, examining the gender differences toward being entrepreneur is important because a comment which stated An entrepreneur is an entrepreneur is entrepreneur should been revised (Dunn and Liang, 2006). This is because studies have shown that there are gender differences in many aspects in understanding entrepreneurship (for example: Walker and Webster, 2006; Manolova et al., 2008; Kirkwood, 2009). There were several research focused in women entrepreneur (for example: Lee, 1997; Orhan and Scott, 2001; Lim et al., 2003; Sarri and Trihopoulou, 2004; Dunn and Liang, 2006; Erogul and McCohan, 2008; Raman et al., 2008). Furthermore, there were also research focused in student perception and intention to be entrepreneurs (for examples: Segal et al., 2005; Linan and Chen, 2006; Engle et al., 2008; Izquierdo and International Seminar & Conference Fakultas Ekonomi UNJ 9 & 10 November 2010

Buelens, 2008; Shook and Bratianu, 2008; Van Gelderen et al., 2008; El Harbi et al., 2009). An understanding on students perception or intention to be entrepreneurs is crucial. This is because students are future entrepreneurs. However, as far as researcher understanding, there is no or limited research to understand motivation of female students to become entrepreneurs. Potential contributions for theory and practice. From a theoretical point of view, the results of this study give contributions to the understanding of female students intention to become entrepreneurs. Since not many studies on female students and entrepeneurship, it is hoped that the result of this research give contribution to understanding about women entrepreneurship. From a practical point of view, this research gives insight to university about female students intention to become entrepreneurs. Literature review Entrepreneur definitions Entrepreneur has its origin in the French word entreprende which means to undertake (Kao et al., 2002). In their book on entrepreneurism, Kao et al. (2002, p.32) also provides several key definitions of entrepreneur such as a self self-employed person with uncertain return (Cantillon, 1730), as a person in need of high achievement and autonomy (McClelland, 1961), as a person who is able to identify opportunities and develop small enterprises (Penrose, 1959), and as a creative innovator (Schumpeter, 1910). Kao et al. (2002, p.42) also provide their definition of entrepreneur as a person who undertakes a wealth-creating and value-adding process, through developing ideas, assembling resources and making things happen. Entrepreneurial motivation The success of entrepreneurs is dependent on personal motivation (Urban et al., 2008; Shane et al. 2003). There are several theories that can explain entrepreneurial motivation, for instance: push and pull theories. The push theory explains that individuals are becoming entrepreneurs because of negative external factors such as difficulty finding jobs, job dissatisfaction, inflexible work hour, and insufficient salary. Push factors often have negative connotation (Kirkwoord, 2009). On the other hand, the pull theory states that individuals are becoming entrepreneurs because of several attractiveness such as having greater financial rewards, self-fulfillment, independent, and other desirable outcomes (Gilad and Levine, 1983 cited by Segal et al., 2005). Several researches show motivation differences between men and women. For instance, Walker and Webster (2006) showed that there were significant differences between man and women motivations to run their business. Flexible hours, wanting to work from home and the need to balance work and family are main motivation for women entrepreneurs. The result of that study indicated that women still doing the double shift of having to cope with family and work (Walker and Webster, 2006, p. 128). Another research conducted a study conducted Manolova et al. (2008) pointed out that men are motivated by selfrealization, financial success, and autonomy. On the other hand, women are motivated by all of out desired outcomes (self-realization, status, financial success, and autonomy).

International Seminar & Conference Fakultas Ekonomi UNJ 9 & 10 November 2010

Studies on motivation of woman entrepreneurs show a mix results as follows. Lee (1997) pointed out that women entrepreneurs have a higher need for achievement and dominance than women employees. A study conducted by Lim et al. (2003) shows several motivations of becoming entrepreneur such as to achieve full potential, to have autonomy and flexibility, economy reasons, and to become successful person. Another research conducted by Dunn and Liang (2006) shows that making money is the most important reason to be entrepreneur. In a similar vein with Dunn and Liang, a research conducted by Cohoon et al. (2010) also shows that the primary motivation of women entrepreneur is desire to build wealth. Other motivations are the wish to capitalize on business ideas, the appeal of startup culture, a desire to won company, and not working for someone else. On the other hand, a research conducted by Raman et al. (2008) pointed out that work core is the most important motivational factor in women deciding to be entrepreneurs. A study conducted by Orhan and Scott (2001) shows several categories of woman motivations to become entrepreneur: (1) dynastic compliance, (2) no other choice, (3) entrepreneurship by chance, (4) natural succession, (5) forced entrepreneurship, (6) informed entrepreneur, and (7) pure entrepreneur. Another study conducted by Das (2000, cited by Tambunan, 2009) provided women motivations to become entrepreneurs in Asian countries as shown in Table 1 below. Table 1. Motivations of women entrepreneurs in Asian countries Category Chance entrepreneurs Motivations to keep busy hobby / special interest family/spouse had business financial/needed the money control over time/flexibility challenge, try something on ones own show others I could do it. to be independent self satisfaction example to children employment to others/ do something worthwhile

Forced entrepreneurs

Created or pulled entrepreneurs

Source: Das (2000, cited by Tambunan, 2009).

Entrepreneurial intention Entrepreneurial intention is considered as the first step in becoming as entrepreneur (Lee and Wong, cited by Linan and Chen, 2006). Intention is defined as instructions people give to themselves to behave in certain ways (Triandis, 1983 cited by Bagozzi and Yi, 1989). Therefore, it can be stated that intentions represent people plans to perform their behavior. Intention is also as the immediate determinant of behavior (Bagozzi and Yi, 1988). Intention can be explained by using the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1988). According to the theory that individuals action is influenced by behavioral intention. International Seminar & Conference Fakultas Ekonomi UNJ 9 & 10 November 2010

Behavioral intention, in return, is a function of three factors: attitude toward the behavior, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control (Figure 1). Attitude is defined as peoples overall definition of their performing behavior. Subjective norms refer to peoples perception of social pressure to perform the behavior. Perceived behavioral control measures how well a person can execute the behavior (Ajzen, 1991). Figure 1. Theory of planned behavior
Attitudes toward performing the behavior

Subjective norms

Behavioral Intention

Behavior

Perceived behavioral control

Source: Ajzen (1988,p.133)

Research method Qualitative approach. Qualitative approach was applied in this research. This is because qualitative studies are tools used in understanding and describing the world of human experience (Myers, 2000). Qualitative research aimed at finding out what things exist [rather] than determine[ing] how many such things there are (Walker, 1983, cited by McKenzie and Crouch, 2006, p.487). Interviewing is one of the most frequently applied in qualitative approach (McKenzie and Crouch, 2006). Case study. Case study was chosen as a qualitative research method in this research. Case is a term that refers to an event, an individual or even a unit of analysis. Furthermore, it is an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real life context using multiple sources of evidence (Yin, 1989, cited by Noor, 2008). In-depth interviews were applied in this research. Interviews were carried out on five participants. The purpose of the interview is to obtain the participants opinions regarding the intention to become entrepreneurs. This research applied the semi-structured interviews. This is because the semi-structured interview offers sufficient flexibility to approach different participants differently while still covering the same areas of data collection (Noor, 2008). The questions were prepared in advanced based on the theme being investigated, that is, intention to become entrepreneur. International Seminar & Conference Fakultas Ekonomi UNJ 9 & 10 November 2010

This research applied six questions to understand female students motivation to become entrepreneurs. Three questions were developed by Chen et al. (1998). Those questions are: (1) how interested are you in becoming an entrepreneur, (2) how much have you already prepared to become an entrepreneur, and (3) how soon are you going to become an entrepreneur. Other questions were developed by the researcher (Table 2). Table 2. Research questions Research questions 1. What motivates female students to become entrepreneurs? 2. How interested are you in becoming an entrepreneur? 3. What type of support do female students receive from their family to become entrepreneurs? 4. How much have female students already prepared to become entrepreneurs? 4.1. Are there any barriers that you will have when becoming an entrepreneur? 5. Are there any gender differences toward being an entrepreneur? 5.1. Do you perceive being a woman is advantageous? Source Researcher Chen et al. (1988) Researcher Research focus Motivation Attitude Subjective norm

Chen et al. (1988) Researcher

Perceived behavioral control

Perceived behavioral control Researcher Researcher Intention

6.

How soon are you Chen et al. (1988) going to become an entrepreneur?

All interviews were conducted in Bahasa Indonesia as the national language. Each respondent also was given a questionnaire which contains similar questions when interviewed. The main reason is to provide more media that can be used by participants to express their opinions. Each interview was then audio-taped and transcribed by the interviewer as soon as possible as suggested by Osborne and Freyberg (1985, cited by Talib et al. 2009). Furthermore, as suggested by Talib et al. (2009), immediate transcription can improve the technique of asking questions for the next interview.

International Seminar & Conference Fakultas Ekonomi UNJ 9 & 10 November 2010

Sample selection. The selection of participants was done through a purposive sampling. There are several criteria: (1) female students, (2) active students in their last semester, and (3) not yet have working experience whether they have business or work with others. There were five female students as participants in this research as samples sizes depend on the resources and time available (Mack et al., 2005). Analysis data for case study. All data were analyzed through several stages. First, making a code of the data. Then, explorations of data within each code. The next step was summarizing data. Finally, a reflection on data within each category. Findings Motivation to become entrepreneurs. All female students in this research have same main motivation in becoming as entrepreneurs. All participants pointed out that financial independence as their main motivation as stated by one female (named Jenny here to protect her identity): My main motivation to become an entrepreneur is to be financial independence without depending with other people. Furthermore, I dont like to be tied-up with company policy. I want to be free with my own policy. Another female student (named Audrey here to protect her identity) also stated: I want to become an entrepreneur because I want to be financial independence. I dont like working with others. I want to produce money while still sleeping like my father. Table 3 below shows other motivations to become entrepreneur. Flexibility is the second main motivation for almost participants. Flexibility means that they do not want to work in daily routine hours, they do not want to be tied-up with company policy, and they do not want to have superiors (bosses). Other motivations are: selfdevelopment and self-achievement. Table 3. Participants motivations to become entrepreneurs Motivations Financial independence Flexibility Achievement Self-development n=5 5 4 2 2 % 100% 80% 40% 40%

Attitude toward becoming entrepreneurs. Almost all participants stated that to be an entrepreneur is very interested. Table 4 below shows participants interest toward specific

International Seminar & Conference Fakultas Ekonomi UNJ 9 & 10 November 2010

area that they will involved when they become entrepreneurs. Jenny stated that to be an entrepreneur is very interested as she shares her opinion: To be an entrepreneur is very interesting because I can develop myself and gain more experience, independent, higher financial reward higher. If I work with other people, I have to obey the company policy and limited career development. I believe that to become an entrepreneur will take high risks, but I believe it will worth with something I will get in return. However, only one participant stated that she is just interested to become an entrepreneur as one female (named Ellen here to protect her identity) stated: I do interest to become an entrepreneur. But I do also think about how to make it come true of my dream. I do not know whether it is difficult or easy to develop my business. Table 4. Business interest Participants Business interest Jenny Maia Audrey Nancy Ellen Boutique (fashion) Product packaging Plastics Swim wear store Bar Restaurant

Subjective norms (supports from family) to become entrepreneurs. All participants stated that their family (that is, mother and father) support them to become entrepreneurs. Interestingly, all supports from their mother and father are mix as shown in Table 5 below. Table 5 shows that three out of five participants fathers do not give full support to them to become entrepreneur. Jenny and Audrey have similar answer for that fact as Jenny shared the following: My mother supports me to become an entrepreneur. However, my father wants me to work with other before becoming an entrepreneur in order to understand how organization system is work, to become more discipline, and to develop my character.

Table 5. Supports from family

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Jenny F SW M FS F FS

Maia M na F SW

Audrey M FS F SW

Nancy M FS F FS

Ellen M SW

Legend: F : father M : mother na : not available (her mother was passed away) SW : should work with other people before becoming an entrepreneur FS : full support

Perceived behavioral control to become entrepreneurs. There were two questions regarding how well participants can become entrepreneurs: (1) how much have female students already prepared to become entrepreneurs? and (2) are there any gender differences toward being an entrepreneur?. All participants stated that they have prepared several things to become entrepreneurs. For example, Maia stated that she has prepared the business location. Furthermore, she has also prepared several machines for her business. Not only that, she is now trying to find potential customers for her business in packaging. Another respondent (named Nancy here to protect her identity) also has developed a product sample for her business. She has looking product materials and potential employees for the business. Not only that, she mentioned that she has been looking for store location. Three other participants stated that they are preparing themselves by finding information regarding their future business. Participants were also asked whether they will face barriers to become entrepreneurs. All participants agreed that experience is their main fear to become entrepreneurs. Two other participants pointed out that their age can be perceived as a barrier to involve in entrepreneurship as Maia share her opinion: I know that I have no experience now to become an entrepreneur. Moreover, my age that still young that others may underestimate me. There were mix answers for a question regarding gender differences toward being entrepreneurs. Three participants stated that there still gender differences to become entrepreneurs as pointed out by Ellen as she shares her opinion: In my opinion there are still gender differences to become entrepreneurs. Sometimes people only see women entrepreneurs with their half-eyes (an Indonesian idiom means being underestimate).

On the other hand, Audrey stated her opinion as follows:

International Seminar & Conference Fakultas Ekonomi UNJ 9 & 10 November 2010

I believe there are no gender differences influencing my intention to become entrepreneur. The most important things to become an entrepreneur are ability and intention. Participants were asked whether being women is advantageous for them. All participants agreed that it is advantageous for them being a woman. However, they have different reasons for that question (Table 6). Table 6. Advantageous reasons for being a woman Reasons Understand the market well Attractive appeal Detail Easy to get sympathy Multi-talented (can do several things in one time) n=5 2 3 1 1 1 % 40% 60% 20% 20% 20%

Intention to become entrepreneurs. A question about how soon participants will become entrepreneur? Three participants stated that will become entrepreneurs as soon as they graduate from university. Only two other participants stated that though they will need more time after graduation to become entrepreneurs as stated by Ellen: I will become an entrepreneur next two years. I have to finish my study now. Even though I can graduate soon, I still have to prepare many things to achieve my dream to become an entrepreneur. I have to make sure that my idea to have a bar restaurant is supported with things such as a good concept, location, and capital. Discussion This research aims to understand motivations of female students to become entrepreneurs. This research shows participants as future entrepreneurs have multiple motivation to become entrepreneur. The findings show that financial independent as the main motivation for all participants. This kind motivation is classified as pull motivation (Gilad and Levine, 1983 cited by Segal et al., 2005). However, almost all participants also stated that flexibility as their motivation to become entrepreneurs. According to Kirkwood (2009), flexibility is classified as push motivation. This result may indicate that participants aware their next step in life that they will have a family. Consequences as a woman and have a family are to be multitask person and can balance family life and career. Therefore, they desire for greater work-life flexibility. In short, findings of this research support previous research that point outs women entrepreneurs motivations appear to be intertwined (Kirkwood, 2009). The present paper also shows that almost all participants stated that to be an entrepreneur is very interested. Each had different interest in specific areas they will involve later. They interest in entrepreneurship are also supported by their families. This paper also shows that more father than mother encourage their daughter to work with other

International Seminar & Conference Fakultas Ekonomi UNJ 9 & 10 November 2010

people first before entering entrepreneurship. This result may indicate that experience is crucial as their father may have experiences in business. All participants stated that they have prepared several things to achieve their aim to become entrepreneurs. They also aware barriers that they will face in the future such as experience and their young ages. They also stated that it is advantageous for being a woman as women have more attractiveness appeal than men. Conclusions The main finding of this research is that financial independence as the main motivation for female students to become entrepreneurs. This type motivation can be classified as pull motivation. However, the findings also show that most participants pointed out another main motivation, that is, flexibility. This kind of motivation, on the other hand, is classified as push motivation which often has negative connotations (Kirkwood, 2009). This research has limitations. First, this research only focused on the motivations of female student to become entrepreneur. Though understanding gender differences are important but comparative studies are needed to gain more and holistic understanding on entrepreneur phenomena. Second, this research applied a qualitative approach in understanding the phenomena. A triangulation method with mixed-methods research can contribute to the rich understanding of entrepreneur as a social phenomenon.

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