Motivation and Psychology of Women Entrepreneurship

3. 29. 2019

This paper discusses several studies of entrepreneurial behaviors, which can be used to understand women entrepreneurs and also find out where more research is required. There are several reasons concerning this and the article explains most of the findings (which are relevant) in detail. The main idea is to give a significant reason for what sets these aspiring women entrepreneurs apart from the rest. One such finding is that according to McClelland, people with a personality showing high “need for achievement” are more rational, successful and usually become business entrepreneurs. The paper also describes subtle differences in motivations and psychological aspects between male and female entrepreneurs based on several studies and existing research. Finally, the article tries to analyze the motivational factors of entrepreneurs to start their own business or why certain women are more inclined to start their own business, based on a comparative study. Women starting their own business is not only for financial benefits but also to provide more job opportunities, help the society and the community through corporate social responsibility.

‘Motivation’ is regarded as an important element in an entrepreneur’s life. It gives strength, courage and opens new vistas to reach the determined objectives. Many scholars accepted that motivation is the predominant driving force for many business people achievements where people have various motivations to become an entrepreneur. David McClelland, amongst the theories of psychology, in the book written by him “The Achieving Society”, he established an achievement motivation theory used to explain entrepreneurial performance and he has recognized that accomplishment motivation results mainly to entrepreneurship. He mentions that the progress hinges on dynamic activities of several individuals behaving in an entrepreneurial way. The number of people with an entrepreneurial-motivational-complex primarily with high-achievement-will has to be substantially increased if considerable development of economy happens in underdeveloped countries.

In his book, McClelland says that a specific human motivation with the desire to achieve high encourages entrepreneurship. This is the key to growth in the economy. Additionally, any society displaying a high need for achieving generates several enthusiastic entrepreneurs, which results in the rapid development of the economy. The significance of this groundbreaking research by McClelland teaches us the global use of “achievement-motivation” in programs for training, pursuing to inspire managers and entrepreneurs in underdeveloped nations. The theory explains that it is specifically individuals with high “need for Achievement” that are affected by fluctuations in financial prospects. Enterprising behavior is led by the high “need for achievement”. On the other hand, individuals with low “n achievement” are the opposite. Those with high “need for achievement” are reactive to the financial impetuses, who look for means to make an improved living condition at many levels, and the big difference comes from the levels of motivational, which enables them to make a better living by all means of taking advantage of the opportunities. One can expect that executives of entrepreneurial business generally get a higher rank in the “n* achievement” than individuals with comparable educational and societal background, in other words, the motivational levels are directly proportional to the success rate.

People with high “n Achievement” generally display behaviors like business entrepreneurs rationalizing, successful. They constantly set goals for themselves, which are moderate, difficult, not too hard nor too easy and capitalize on the probability of achievement. satisfaction. These individuals are more interested in tangible feedback (than usual) pertaining to their performance. They prefer to take complete responsibility for solving all the issue since it is a way for them to get a feeling of achievement satisfaction from finishing the assignment. However, they can not get satisfaction if the “success” depends purely on circumstances or luck, something beyond their control. These individuals show exploratory behavior and are more initiative taking, who constantly research the surroundings new challenges that they can solve and get the needed satisfaction. They are also very creative and innovative at finding new solutions to their challenges or issues/problems.

Minet Schindehutte, Michael Morris, Jeffrey Allen, studied the entrepreneur's motivation by exploring activities of high intensity by referring 3 interrelated variables of psychology as follows:

The first “peak performance” is defined as reaching the upper limits of human potential and functioning at a superior level or as displayed in creativity, productivity or excellence. The second Peak experience is the highest happiness or emotional /spiritual feelings of an entrepreneur. Moreover, the third Flow refers to the psychological state underlying peak performance. It is a state of well-being, a transcend the state of focused attention, involving ecstatic moments, euphoric sensations and a spiritual dimension. There is a strong reciprocal relationship among these the cognitive.

Their study concludes that,

  • The emotional and sensory components can play an important role in context.
  • Peak performance may also lead to an entrepreneur’s skill at identifying the presence of impetuses, particularly in risk assessment, where the person is experiencing more, a stronger sense of self, spontaneity and greater fascination.
  • The method of succeeding in a regarding outcomes, demands, a multiplicity of obstacles generate a kind of peak performance.
  • The peak performance, peak experience, are leading aspects of entrepreneurship.
  • These results have repercussions for business motives, which are associated with egoistic passion entrepreneurship, such as achievement and drive. These may be particularly significant during peak experiences, in those levels of high stamina and energy, to meet challenging goals.
  • In addition, entrepreneurs are by achievement (intrinsic rewards) rather than extrinsic rewards like money, since entrepreneurship offers of intrinsic rewards.
  • Sensory and emotional elements are in elucidating the type an entrepreneur acts. Therefore, the manifestation of peak experience, flow and peak performance could be anticipated to of perception.

On the other hand, as per the well-accepted theory, entrepreneurial motives are classified into groups of pull and push factors. Pull-factors are the ones, which attract people to start businesses; one example is noticing an opportunity. Push-factors are categorized by external or personal factors, for example: being accepted over for promotion or with a divorce. These often have connotations, which are negative. In a broad spectrum, push factors have been found to be less predominant than push factors. This is important because companies established by entrepreneurs who experienced pull motivations are more financially successful than those built upon push factors.

Jodyanne Kirkwood did an explanatory study on the motivational aspects of the entrepreneurs. He tries to analyze the motivation, keeping in view of the gender difference. As per his study, the motivating factors are similar for both men and women but the manifestations and interactions of the pull and push factors appeared to vary. Further existing push-pull theory should recognize the significance of the role played by children, mentioned by many as the “motherhood” characteristic of women’s entrepreneurship, where the women’s motives to become an entrepreneur are strongly affected by relational thinking.

Anna Johnson, Sirikanya Kongsinsuwan tries to analyze the motivational factors of entrepreneurs to start their own business. The author did a comparative study by taking two countries female entrepreneurs into consideration. The outcome of the study gave a dissimilar output with the above study. As per the study, in terms of pull factors, female entrepreneurs (Thai and Swedish) are similar in the motivation of establishing the business, such as the need for self-achievement, want to be one’s own boss, want for independence, and want for autonomy. Although there is no proof found that the career experience and educational background have an influence on the entrepreneur motivation to start the business. Nevertheless, from a majority of the respondents in the study showed a result that the family background played a major part in influencing motivation to start a business.

LaRae M. Jome, Laura A. Siegel, Mary P. Donahue, have conducted a study to explore women who own Internet businesses based on their business and gender-related characteristics. The results showed that the kinds of companies owned by the participants might be distinguished based on characteristics of the internet entrepreneurs who are women. Especially, women who own retail companies reported a smaller amount of expertise with computers and positioned their Internet businesses more towards women. Furthermore, partakers defined the accomplishment of their Internet businesses’ success in numerous ways that mirrored their current life roles.

Male and female entrepreneurs are apt to testimony different reasons for establishing their companies. Women are motivated to run their own companies to have more job flexibility and autonomy. Women also tend to spend more time with their families as opposed to male entrepreneurs. They also reduce their time devoted to work in order to resolve potential family conflicts caused by work. When it comes to family responsibility, largely women can balance their work-life better, as compared to men who more often state that they became entrepreneurs for motives of financial or economic gain.

In addition, there are opinions expressed in this study that the women entrepreneurs in the internet field, can be distinguished based on characteristics of their business participation. They can be classified as two types, one is retail internet businesswomen, and the second is professional service oriented businesswomen. As per the study, women entrepreneurs’ running Internet retail business can be distinguished from those who start professional services types of Internet businesses informational technology.

The women entrepreneurs, who have less understanding or experience in computer usage, ran Internet retail businesses. Conceivably, it may be more practical to run a retail business with minimal computer skills, and these women are more driven to start a small company, instead of developing a huge business endeavor that is more complexly tied to extensive information technology, such as design and consulting services or web page development. These generally need way more advanced computer skills. Moreover, women entrepreneurs over forty years of age are seen to be more encouraged by the aspiration for economic gain than their younger counterparts are. These women are motivated by the desire for flexibility and work autonomy as well as money earned. Some women with young kids reported higher difficulty in balancing family and work, while women with older children reported less difficulty in balancing family and work.

Spinder Daliwal aims to offer a clear representation of the relationships, roles, and responsibilities of women entrepreneurs. The author took a class perception to analyze the women entrepreneurs. As per the authors view the economic status of the family determines the women entrepreneur’ s aspirations.  According to the author women, entrepreneurs are classified into two distinct groups, one is Independent women and the other is Hidden women. The first women entrepreneurs are women working in the family enterprise and the second one is those working in their own will/right.

Independent women use their skills and have some meaningful purpose in their lives. Mostly women that are independent enter a business just because of a challenge or a hobby to occupy themselves after their children reached the age where to regularly go to school or simply due to boredom. Their financial and economic necessities may not be the determinant factors for their entry in the business. In most of the cases, someone else in the family is currently in a business environment, usually a brother or a father. The types of family background influence these women in terms of their entrepreneurship values and is a major factor in inspiring these women. An independent woman makes independent decisions and they usually refer to the male in the family as an advisor or consultant.

The Hidden women face different types of concern as compared to their counterparts who are more independent. These women have more responsibilities rather than control the business. The men have complete financial control whereas the women usually perform the manual work such as checking inventory or serving customers. Men do have a greater degree of personal freedom within the business at the expense of women. As the men deal with all external concerns, the women generally deal with the day-to-day internal concerns. These women are exploited as they are vindicated in terms of status and duty. Moreover, the hidden women reproduce relations where the market and domestic relations are intertwined which usually materializes in people of low economic status class.

Mr. Gulab Singh Azad, in his paper ‘Development of Entrepreneurship among Indian women’, made an attempt to describe the motivating factors underlying women entrepreneurship to critically evaluate the difference between male and female entrepreneurs and to analyze the different psycho-social factors impeding the growth of entrepreneurship among women in our country. The main influences of motivation for women entrepreneurship are financial compulsions, usage of skills, technology, and knowledge, want of achievement-satisfaction of others and obstructions in the current profession and suitable training, etc.

His study clearly indicates that there is no dissimilarity between men and women entrepreneurs either psychologically or sociologically. He says, providing the proper environment, effective training and inculcating the entrepreneurial qualities such as self-confidence, problem-solving and risk-taking tendency, role clarity, etc. would balance the society. He concluded that using recent technological trends, for instance, mass media of communication would be an added advantage for the promotion of the women. Society must be realized that the prosperity of happiness of mankind depends on women full participation in the economic field. One major factor that contributes to successful women entrepreneurs is their need to be independent, especially in a developing nations’ society where the woman is often times required to depend on a male counterpart. These women have the ability to pursue a passion to achieve their vision.


Most of the studies come under the purview of sociology and psychology. McClelland and Josef Schumpeter perceptions primarily say that the Individual Self is the driving force for motivating the businessman to start their own business. The entrepreneurial behavior in individuals has to do with their formed attitudes and personality. Though it is acceptable, in many cases the achievement motivation concepts are not convincing in overcoming many practical apprehensions provided by the economic environment. It has also been argued that the above theories may well applicable in advanced countries and less in developing countries considering the deferent value systems and socially desirable behavior patterns in many parts of the world.

There are factors which need to be considered about training giving by entrepreneurship development Cells (EDP) and Skill Development Cells (SDP) by various organizations and also need to be assessed. In contrast with the idea of cognitive aspect, it also needs to be considered that entrepreneurship is reliant on the state of the financial surroundings and consequently can be impacted by programs and policies. These could have an effect on the availability of finance, the ability or inability to export and import, the availability of raw materials and technology, the exchange rate, the extent of competition in the market and the interest rate.

Many of the scholars did not give enough attention to the government policies pertaining to the motivation of entrepreneurial aspirations. Moreover, the studies have not exposed the practical constraints of women entrepreneurs. They did not focus on the possibilities of skill development in essential areas and did not deal with what practical management inputs women entrepreneurs required.

There has not been any specific research on businesswomen Hyderabad and their efforts to incorporate Hyderabad with the economy of the rest of the world. Only fewer or single variables in their individual areas have been engaged in the available studies. To be able to comprehend the motivational tendencies of women entrepreneurship in the current, further studies of a wider set of dimensions of entrepreneurship and a broader understanding of the concepts are necessary.


Autor: Charith Venkat Pidikiti, LIGS University student

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