Women’s business ownership and women’s entrepreneurship through the lens of U.S. federal policies

Sheela Pandey, Alejandro S. Amezcua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Although the USA is at the forefront of nations promoting women’s business ownership and entrepreneurship, the role of U.S. federal policies in supporting these goals remains unexamined. This study examines six decades (1951–2011) of U.S. Federal Statutes to answer the research question—how do U.S. federal policies support women’s business ownership and women’s entrepreneurship? The study methodology includes quantitative and qualitative analysis of federal laws and resolutions. The quantitative analysis suggests that in 1988, with the passage of the Women’s Business Ownership Act, the USA began to intensify policy interest in this area. What began as policy experimentation in 1988 gradually became institutionalized. The qualitative analysis suggests that in terms of broad policy intent and intended outcomes not much has changed since 1988. Given this sobering finding, we discuss important implications and future research questions to motivate stronger research on how government can better support women business owners and entrepreneurs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1123-1152
Number of pages30
JournalSmall Business Economics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Economics and Econometrics


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