Ethnic entrepreneurship in reverse in the UK: Is there gender bias in access to finance for South Asian women. . .
The following paper was written by Professor Harry Matlay of Birmingham City University, Dr Jonathan M. Scott of Teesside University, and Dr Geoff Whittam from the University of the West of Scotland and was presented at the 2011 ICSB conference in Sweden.
This paper investigates whether there is a gender bias in access to external finance for South Asian women; specifically, do they experience greater credit constraints than their male counterparts? We also highlight implications for policy and future research. Much of the previous empirical literature focused on "success? (Clark and Drinkwater, 2006), i.e. factors contributing towards the success of ethnic entrepreneurs (Song, 1997; Werbner, 1990), or inducing them to consider self-employment to
overcome disadvantage as a consequence of an economic "dead-end thesis? (Aldrich et al, 1981; Metcalf et al., 1996). Ethnic entrepreneurship is often viewed from the lens of "disadvantage? (Jones et al., 1992; Phizacklea, 1990; Ram and Smallbone, 2001). In the context of ethnic entrepreneurship, a plateau in the rate of increase is acknowledged but the analysis of the factors contributing towards a decline in the rate remains unexplored, and increased Asian female enterprise and access to finance
is underexplored, an aspect towards which this paper aims to make a contribution. The authors administered a semi-structured questionnaire with South Asian women and men and white male and female entrepreneurs, who recently started or have established enterprises. To test for the gender bias and the rank order of financing preferences, the survey requested quantitative and qualitative information about the different sources of finance. Our analysis examines the differences in the experience of South Asian women in accessing finance, in comparison with South Asian entrepreneurs and white male and female entrepreneurs.
Statistical evidence and general observations suggest that there are relatively few South Asian women-led enterprises in their own right. However, there is an emerging trend amongst second- and third-generation South Asian women to consider starting a business by choice (as opportunity entrepreneurs) and for whom access to finance may be a problematic issue. The analysis suggests that there are considerable differences amongst Asian women in terms of the importance of different sources of finance, experiences and their perceptions of banks. The findings suggest that banks,policy makers and support agencies should recognize the important role of Asian female
entrepreneurs and develop bespoke financing policies to alleviate finance barriers for this important emerging niche.
This study offers an insight into financing issues for South Asian women entrepreneurs. It is acknowledged that Asian businesses are an important part of the UK government?s strategy to promote enterprise and employment creation - especially in the most deprived cities of the UK - and that South Asian women are critical to successful local and national economic development. However, the findings of this study suggest that South Asian women have a "double hurdle? to overcome in access to external finance (whether informal or formal). This study is novel in that it draws upon the theory of finance and earlier empirical research and explores their experiences when accessing external finance for start-ups and growth.
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TIP OF THE WEEK
Advertising Objectives Different types of advertisements help to accomplish different objectives. You may be trying to do any of the following.
-Inform your audience of the existence of your business, your competitive advantage, or product features and benefits.
-Remind people that your business or product still exists. Get them to remember what they received from your business in the past so that it remains in their evoked set.
-Change the perception of your business rather than trying to sell specific products. Generally called institutional advertising,advertising with this objective aims to build goodwill rather than to make an immediate sale.
It is a challenge to achieve these broad objectives with your advertising. Creating effective advertisements is both a science and an art. Originality, humor, and excitement can make your ad break through the clutter of other media, but, at the same time, these traits can obscure the real message of your ad. Communicating your message clearly while catching the viewer's attention is a tough balance to achieve. Consider these common strategies, all of which you might choose to achieve your advertising objectives :
-Testimonials. Use an authority or a personal testimony from a celebrity to present your message. Athletes and movie stars attract attention, but their public images can change rapidly and must remain consistent with that of your business.
-Humor. Humor can grab the viewer's attention, but be careful who bears the brunt of the joke or you could offend some group and generate negative publicity for your business. Advertising history is also full of some very funny ads that did not generate a single dollar of additional revenue.
-Sensual or sexual messages. According to the cliché, "Sex sells." Sex is certainly used in a lot fo ads, but research shows that it is not an effective way to get a message across. AS with humor, using sex to attract attention is worthless if it doesn't translate into sales.
-Comparative messages. Naming competitors in your advertising is legal and quite common. It can be a very powerful way to position your product in customers' minds against another known entity - although it also gives your competitor free exposure.
-Slice-of-life messages. These messages may use a popular song or a brief scene from life to position your product. Music is a great way to transport people mentally back to another time in their life. Nostalgia can help create a brand identity for your product.
-Fantasy messages. These messages present an idealistic self-image of the buyer. What you are trying to do is link a product with a desirable person or situation. Certainly, this is what almost every beer or soft-drink commercial attempts - the message is "Drink this liquid and you will be beautiful, popular, and desirable." Right.
How do you tell if your advertising works? A common complaint among advertisers runs along this line: "I know that half of my advertising dollars are wasted, I just don't know which half." Measuring the effectiveness of your advertising is difficult. Is the cost of producing and running the ad justified by increased sales and profit? A few techniques might help you out.
-Response tracking. Coded or dated coupons let you compare different media, such as the redemption rate for coupons in newspapers compared with flyers handed out on the street.
-Split ads. code two different ads, different media, or broadcast times to see which produces a greater response.
-In-store opinions. Ask in-store customers where they heard about your business, what they think, what you are doing right, and why they buy from you rather than from a competitor.
-Telephone surveys. Make random phone calls with numbers gleaned from customer files. Ask customers whether they have seen your advertising and what they think of it.
-Statement questionnaires. Drop a brief questionnaire in the monthly bills you send out to ask customers if they are satisfied with the product or service and how they found out about it.
Small Business Management Entrepreneurship and Beyond: 5th Edition
Timothy S. Hatten
South-Western Cengage Learning
Copyright 2012, 2009
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Mark your calenders! The 2012 Annual SBI Conference will be held in San Antonio, Texas, Thursday through Saturday, February 16-18, 2012. For more information, click here.
International Council for Small Business will be holding its International World Conference during June 10-13, 2012 in Wellington, New Zealand. For more information, click here.
Small Business Institute
The Small Business Institute will be holding its 2012 Annual Conference during February 16, 2012 in San Antonio, TX. For more information, click here.