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Feminine Capital
Unlocking the Power of Women Entrepreneurs



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Today, there are over 200,000,000 women business owners around the world. Many of these entrepreneurs are not doing business as usual, nor are they simply leaning in. Rather, they are tapping into feminine capital—the unique skills and sensibilities that they have cultivated as women—to create enviable successes.


Drawing on four decades of award-winning research, Feminine Capital reveals how women are harnessing different approaches to doing business. Barbara Orser and Catherine Elliott detail the pillars of feminine capital and offer new insight into the ways that gender can influence entrepreneurial decision-making. They find that leveraging feminine capital can help women to create distinctive brands, build new markets, and drive profits—all while leveling the playing field in business. In doing so, women are changing our social and economic landscape, one venture at a time.


Dispelling myths and misperceptions that can undermine women-owned ventures, this book takes a fresh look at how female entrepreneurs can leverage their skills, knowledge, and values. Case studies of women entrepreneurs bring key concepts and lessons to life, while learning aids, diagnostic tools, and checklists help readers to construct innovative business models, refine start-up plans, and hone growth strategies.


About the authors

Barbara Orser

Professor Orser is a Full Professor and the Deloitte Professor in the Management of Growth Enterprises. In 2010, Dr. Orser was recognized by the Women's Executive Network as a 100 Most Power Women in Canada (Champion Category) and The International Alliance of Women World of Difference 100 Awards. In 2011, she received the University of Ottawa Telfer School of Management Award for Service, Teaching and Research. She is an active advisor to the federal government and the former Chair of the Taskforce for Women's Enterprise Growth (2009-2011), a Canadian non-partisan consortium of prominent women business owners, SME service agencies, academics and industry associations. Prior to joining Telfer School of Management in 2005, she was an Associate Professor at Carleton and Ryerson University and Program Manager of the Conference Board of Canada Centre of Excellence for Women's Advancement.


Catherine Elliott

Dr. Elliott joined the Telfer School of Management in 2009, first as a part-time professor of organizational theory and design, and later in 2011 as an Assistant Professor of organizational behaviour and human resources. Dr. Elliott obtained a B.A./B.Phe from Queen's in 1982, and an M.A. in 1984. She then completed a M.B.A. from the Telfer School of Management in 1990 and a Ph.D. from the University of Ottawa in 2010. Her thesis examined the consequences, context, and impact of accreditation on Canadian University Business Schools. Particular interest was paid to the effect of evaluative inquiry on organizational learning.


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