Victoria Price will present a paper titled ‘Investigating the Performance of Women-Owned Home-Based Businesses’, at the annual Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship Conference (ISBE), in Newcastle, UK, on the 14-15 November 2019. The focus of this prestigious and international conference is ‘SPACE – exploring new frontiers and entrepreneurial places’. This is a great fit for Victoria to present work from her PhD, which explores the gendered and geographical dimensions of home-based business (HBB) performance and growth. The paper is based on the first chapter of her thesis and will be presented to the Gender and Enterprise conference stream.
Victoria’s paper explores the oft-debated ‘gender-gap’ in business performance, through the lens of the home-based business. Specifically, the paper analyses whether business location in different residential settings – including major urban areas, smaller cities, peri-urban towns and rural villages – contributes to different performance outcomes for women and men-owned HBBs. She takes a quantitative approach, analysing a large, cross-sectional sample of women and men-owned HBBs drawn from the 2015 wave of the UK Longitudinal Small Business Survey (LSBS).
The LSBS provides the largest and most recent sample of home-based businesses in the UK, and crucially, the sample includes unregistered businesses whose turnover is both below the VAT threshold and which have no employees, thus falling beneath the radar of many firm-level surveys. These unregistered micro-businesses make up a significant proportion of home-based business activity and home-based self-employment. The LSBS is a rich dataset for exploring multiple measures of business performance, including turnover, employment, use of subcontractors/freelancers, and innovation.
Victoria’s unexpected findings demonstrate that location has little role to play in HBB performance, and that there are no significant gender differences in turnover and innovation between women and men-owned HBBs. Most surprisingly however, is the finding that women-owned home-based businesses are more likely to employ staff than men-owned home-based businesses, even when controlling for other business characteristics, including industrial sector. Victoria is looking forward to discussing these findings and receiving feedback on the paper at ISBE 2019, and developing this research in further chapters of her PhD thesis.
Link to the conference: https://isbe.org.uk/isbe-2019/