Entrepreneurial Success: A Phenomenological Study of Single Women Heads of Households

Entrepreneurial Success: A Phenomenological Study of Single Women Heads of Households

Author: 
Melleny A. Andrews
Program of study: 
D.M.
Abstract: 
The purpose of this descriptive phenomenological study was explore the lived experiences of 10 successful female entrepreneurs to identify their perceptions, thoughts, and experiences of owning and running a successful business over at least a 6-year period while managing other demands as single heads of households. In this study, the following constructs were used to interpret the reported experiences of women entrepreneurs: risk-taking, energetic or novel instrumental behaviors, individual responsibility, knowledge of results and actions, long-range planning, and organizational abilities. Core themes identified as important for success include; (a) a successful business requires hard work, (b) being highly motivated makes all the difference in a successful business, (c) startup service businesses do not require outside funding, (d) personal Responsibility is critical for successful new businesses, (e) the desire for achievement drives many women to business success, (f) women entrepreneurs need to devote regular time to goal setting and long-range planning, (g) women entrepreneurs may feel more comfortable starting businesses that are service oriented because outside funding is not required. The data was collected via telephone interviews. One possible use of these results could be to assist future female entrepreneurs who are single head of households wanting to start their own business understand challenges, difficulties, and achievements of successful female entrepreneurs
Dedication: 
This dissertation is dedicated to my family, whom I love very much. I thank the Lord who made my journey possible, I cannot thank him enough. To my mother, my mentor, my friend and the strongest person I have ever known. Mom, your passion, courage, sacrifice, undeniable love, strength and drive gave me the strength and courage to complete this journey to which I admire and adore you. To my Crawford, who supported me, made me laugh, and encouraged me when I doubted myself and who always believed in me. Thank you for never doubting I could accomplish this work. Thank you to my son Brandon who encouraged me and helped me to set an example of what one can accomplish when people you love believe in you. Thank you to my friends who supported me, encouraged me, and gave me advice throughout the years completing this journey.
Acknowledgements: 
I would like to thank my Committee Chair, Dr. Katherine Downey, Thank you for hearing my frustrations and helping me through this dissertation process to finish. I would like to recognize my committee members Dr. Yvonne Phelps, who has been with me, encouraged me and supported me from the beginning and Dr. Julia Aucoin, your words of wisdom and guidance helped me navigate through this thing we call QRF. Thank you all for being part of the Team and sharing your knowledge and expertise with me. Thank you to the female entrepreneurs who are single heads of households who agreed to share your stories with me. Thank you for giving me an inside view to your experiences. Thank you for allowing me to share your stories with the world. I am encouraged by your courage, strength and tenacity. A special thanks to my friend and mentor Dr. William Wargo. Throughout this writing process you have helped me the most, without your support and constant encouragement I would have been lost. I would also like to thank the wonderful women that are part of female entrepreneurial organizations that I spoke with that helped me navigate throughout the female entrepreneurial world and gave referrals as to women I could interview. Without your help I would have not known who to turn to for help in this wonderful world we call entrepreneurship.