Over the past century, an extensive literature has developed, exploring the impact of entrepreneurship on economic performance.  The active participation of entrepreneurs in virtually all aspects of business and economic activity has obliged policy makers within the global economy to consider entrepreneurship as a determining variable in any political force, not only for bodies and groups created specifically to this end, but also for any decision-making body.  To this end, specific actions promoting  entrepreneurship have already been established around the world.  However, the particular dynamics of entrepreneurship by women present unique opportunities and challenges.  The womens perspective has often been overlooked in research, practice, and policymaking, and yet yields rich insights and implications.  This volume features research from an international array of authors, global data, and in-depth analysis of womens entrepreneurial activity in Europe, Latin America, the United States, and Canada, to shed light on the positive impact of womens entrepreneurship on economic growth and development.  The first part covers a broad range of concepts relating to the history and context of the female economic perspective.  The second part focuses on performance and success factors, with respect to such issues as innovation, social needs, and entrepreneurial orientation.  The third part addresses issues of financing, including discussion of access to capital, microcredit, and entrepreneurial behavior.  The fourth part considers additional topics, such as work-family balance and access to education.  Together, the chapters offer new perspectives on the unique characteristics of women entrepreneurs and their contributions to economic development in theory, practice, and policymaking. 

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