Differences Between Male and Female Entrepreneurs in The Kingdom of Bahrain: Does Gender Matter?
The research was conducted to investigate the effect of gender on the composition of start-up capital among Bahraini entrepreneurs, particularly those belonging to the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector. This research also wants to determine if there is any significant moderating effect of the time commitment (part-time or fulltime); financial management experience; business networking frequency; and, Bahraini women entrepreneurs’ attitude towards risk on the start-up capital requirements (debt and equity) of these entrepreneurs. A total of 89 SME owners participated in the study from September to November 2016. This research proved that there is a significant relationship between gender and financial capital in the case of Bahraini entrepreneurs suggesting that gender has a direct impact on the proportion of bank loans and equity in the total amount of financial start-up capital used. A significant relationship between risk attitude and financial capital was also determined and proved that female entrepreneurs have a lower propensity to take risk than their male counterparts. There was however no significant relationship to prove that time commitment (part-time or fulltime); financial management experience; and, business networking frequency have an impact on SME start-up capital structure. In light of these conclusions from the study, the researcher recommended that government and business agencies in Bahrain remove the barriers to entry for women entrepreneurs, especially in the area of access to capital, not only from banks but also from other financial institutions. He also recommended that the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce Inc. (BCCI), Bahrain Management Society and other like-minded business agencies and organizations take note of the result of this study to come up with trainings and workshops to empower Bahraini women entrepreneurs especially in the area of risk management.
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