The aim of this longitudinal study was to examine the potential ofcoaching to develop female entrepreneurs' self-efficacy through learning anddevelopment. This was achieved by firstly conducting a needs analysis, whichexplored the potential of an e-coaching programme for female entrepreneurs inthe North West of England. Secondly, implementing an e-coaching programmecalled TEC (Tailored E-Coaching) for female entrepreneurs in the North West ofEngland and exploring the impact of the programme, specifically examiningfemale entrepreneurs' learning development with regard to entrepreneurial selfefficacy,general entrepreneurial attitudes and locus of control, compared to acontrol group who did not receive the coaching intervention. The studyconsisted of two stages, with two time points in stage two (pre and postprogramme). A mixed method approach was used, whereby qualitative andquantitative data were collected.The main barriers faced by female entrepreneurs appear to be based on,access to funding and finance, balancing domestic responsibilities and work, alack of human capital, a lack of social capital and lack of confidence. Womenoften dismiss entrepreneurial endeavours because they believe that they do nothave the required skills (Wilson, Kickul and Marlino, 2007). In addition, they donot appear to be accessing the support that is currently available, particularlywhen compared with male entrepreneurs (Stranger, 2004; Fielden et al, 2003).However, there is limited empirical research examining female entrepreneurs'requirement regarding business support provision. One form of professionalone-to-one support that may have the potential to overcome these barriers toentrepreneurial activity is coaching. Longitudinal empirical research examiningthe effectiveness of coaching and the learning processes in coachingrelationships is scarce, with an absence of research using control groups(Smither and London, 2003).Thirty women were involved in stage one of the study. In stage two ofthe study, sixty female entrepreneurs (coachees and coaches) commenced acoaching relationship for six months and twenty six female entrepreneurs signedup to a control group (those not receiving the coaching intervention). The aim ofthe coaching programme was primarily to use instant messaging for the majorityof coaching meetings. The relationship lasted approximately six months (2006-2007). Qualitative data was analysed using content analysis and quantitativequestionnaire data was analysed using paired sample t-tests. The study foundthat coachees' learning development resulted in increased levels ofentrepreneurial self-efficacy and general entrepreneurial attitudes in a range ofkey areas and increased internality regarding locus of control. In contrast, thecontrol group did not show any increase in entrepreneurial self-efficacy andshowed a decrease in general entrepreneurial attitudes. Coaches developedtheir coachees through a range of learning processes, for example, enactivemastery and the clarification of business goals, vicarious experience throughshared experiences and verbal persuasion through validation. The study foundthat online coaching has a variety of advantages, e.g. convenience, ease ofaccess, and time to reflect on information.
|Date of Award||1 Aug 2011|
- The University of Manchester
|Supervisor||Sandra Fielden (Supervisor)|
- Female entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial self-efficacy, online coaching