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Title: The role of female-only business networks in rural development: Evidence from NSW, Australia
Contributor(s): Saavedra, Angelo (author)
Publication Date: 2024-02
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2024.103236
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This qualitative paper explores rural women entrepreneurs' motives for joining a female-founded, female-only business network. Using a theoretical framework based on the collective identity, territorial capital and gendered networks, we found that rural women's underlying motives to join the network is to harmonise the perceived dichotomy between their roles as women and as entrepreneurs and pave the way for a successful entrepreneurial journey. Their narratives suggest they prefer to connect and learn in business networks that they feel are extensions of who they are" that is where their identities are maintained and produce a sense of belonging. Network members perceive each other as 'like-minded', which suggests interpersonal congruence and behavioural integration, where they expect social interactions to be conflict-free. Therefore, the women perceived the network as supportive and non-competitive, with the main benefits of building their self-confidence while mitigating the social isolation and feelings of loneliness that characterise rural contexts in Australia. The findings contribute to a better understanding of the role of female-founded FOBNs as neo-endogenous agents catalysts for shifting social paradigms and fostering a more diverse, equitable and inclusive rural landscape.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Rural Studies, v.106, p. 1-10
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 07430167
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 350704 Entrepreneurship
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 230108 Gender and sexualities
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
UNE Business School

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