Inderscience Publishers

The structure of external financing at start–up stage: the differences between Swedish female– and male–owned firms

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This article identifies the differences in external capital acquisition pattern between female– and male–owned firms at start–up stage in Sweden. The study sample is based on a unique and compressive database including 836 female– and 1,928 male–owned firms in 2008. Various statistical tests, such as factor analysis, are employed to analyse the data collected. The results indicate that significant differences exist in external capital structure between female and male–owned firms with regards to the use of individual financial sources. The structure of financing sources was also found having a different pattern at start–up stage between male and female owners. While the female owners prefer to use the formal capital sources, their male counterparts prioritise informal capital sources. In addition, female business owners prefer government grants as the third financing alternative before the risk capital while male counterparts behaved the opposite.

Keywords: female–owned firms, male–owned firms female entrepreneurship, small business finance, funding sources, gender, Sweden, women entrepreneurs, external financing, start–ups, formal capital sources, informal capital sources, government grants, risk capital

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