Keywords: women entrepreneurs, returnees, domestics, internationalisation, China, female entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship, returnee entrepreneurs, domestic entrepreneurs, gender, globalisation
Comparing domestic and returnee female entrepreneurs in China: is there an internationalisation effect?
The number of women entrepreneurs in China has increased rapidly with the development of China's new economy. These entrepreneurs consist of returnees and domestics. This study seeks to identify the key patterns in the entrepreneurial development of the two groups and the factors that influence their career paths and success. We study the entrepreneurial development of women entrepreneurs in China through historical review and case studies of 12 high profile women. As compared to domestics, we find that returnees are relatively more educated, start their businesses younger or reach executive positions at a relatively young age, utilise their external contacts and knowledge in addition to local 'guanxi', and innovate by bringing established foreign ideas back to China. Our study utilises a limited sample of 12 high profile women entrepreneurs to test our hypothesis. We also compare the entrepreneurs' firms that are varied in scale of operation and degree of success. Future research using a larger and perhaps more representative sample is encouraged to increase generalisability of the outcome. This study contributes to a better understanding of the role of internationalisation in the development of women entrepreneurship in China, and advances the growing literature on this subject.