Cover of Feminine Capital by Barbara Orser and Catherine Elliott
Feminine Capital
Unlocking the Power of Women Entrepreneurs
Barbara Orser and Catherine Elliott

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March 2015
240 pages.
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Cloth ISBN: 9780804783781
Paper ISBN: 9780804783798
Digital ISBN: 9780804794312
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Today, there are over 200,000,000 women business owners around the world. Many of these entrepreneurs are not doing business as usual, nor are they simply leaning in. Rather, they are tapping into feminine capital—the unique skills and sensibilities that they have cultivated as women—to create enviable successes.

Drawing on four decades of award-winning research, Feminine Capital reveals how women are harnessing different approaches to doing business. Barbara Orser and Catherine Elliott detail the pillars of feminine capital and offer new insight into the ways that gender can influence entrepreneurial decision-making. They find that leveraging feminine capital can help women to create distinctive brands, build new markets, and drive profits—all while leveling the playing field in business. In doing so, women are changing our social and economic landscape, one venture at a time.

Dispelling myths and misperceptions that can undermine women-owned ventures, this book takes a fresh look at how female entrepreneurs can leverage their skills, knowledge, and values. Case studies of women entrepreneurs bring key concepts and lessons to life, while learning aids, diagnostic tools, and checklists help readers to construct innovative business models, refine start-up plans, and hone growth strategies.

About the author

Barbara Orser is Vice Dean (Career Development) of the University of Ottawa's Telfer School of Management. She is Founding Chair of the Canadian Taskforce for Women's Business Growth and has been named one of the Women Executive Network's 100 Most Power Women in Canada.

Catherine Elliott is Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa's Telfer School of Management, where she teaches Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Management.

"Coauthors Orser and Elliott utilize four decades of research to examine the key ingredients that are necessary for women business owners to successfully compete in the marketplace. They also look at the hurdles women have to overcome to change people's perceptions and obtain the resources they need . . . Highly recommended."

—P. G. Kishel, CHOICE

"Feminine Capital is an essential read for anyone who wants to grow a business or a national economy. It explains why and how we must work together to unleash the full potential of women entrepreneurs as economic engines for sustainable and inclusive prosperity."

—Elizabeth A. Vazquez,CEO & Co-Founder,WEConnect International

"I highly recommend Feminine Capital, a comprehensive discussion of the state of women-led businesses today. With its engaging and interactive approach, the book will appeal to young women seeking start-up guidance, academics, and professionals guiding business growth. Its focus on business innovation, exporting, and access to capital will unlock the exploding power of today's women entrepreneurs."

—Marsha Firestone, Founder & President, Women Presidents' Organization

"There is a growing recognition of the powerful role that women entrepreneurs play in contributing to inclusive prosperity. Feminine Capital is a must-read for those who want to understand the new economic landscape. It not only challenges the stereotypes about women-owned businesses, but also offers pragmatic advice on the range of issues confronting entrepreneurs. An indispensable book."

— Melanne Verveer, former US Ambassador for Global Women's Issues

"This is a book whose time has come. The authors' guidance is spot on; it provides a good blend of touchstone references and new research; and the tools for teaching will serve women well, whether in the classroom or in the office."

—Julie R. Weeks, President and CEO, Womenable

"Feminine Capital covers an incredible amount of territory. It not only tells women entrepreneurs what they should consider in building and strengthening their businesses, but why."

—Patricia G. Greene, Babson College, Co-Founder, Diana Project, and National Academic Director, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses

"The authors do a masterful job synthesizing feminist and entrepreneurship theories to show how gender in venture creation plays out. Using deep case studies, they show how feminine capital can become a conscious and deliberate resource. Well researched and appropriate for policy makers, educator, and practitioner alike."

—Candida G. Brush, Babson College and co-author of Clearing

"This book provides fresh insight into how the intersection between entrepreneurship and feminism is evolving...A thoroughly enjoyable read giving excellent insight and real-life examples into how feminine capital is creating positivity within entrepreneurship."

—Leonora Mary Lynch, Gender and Entrepreneurship