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    Entrepreneurial learning and development of entrepreneurial self-efficacy in women engaged in interconnected selling: impact on future venturing

    Olorunfemi, Adedoyin Anike (2023) Entrepreneurial learning and development of entrepreneurial self-efficacy in women engaged in interconnected selling: impact on future venturing. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    This three-paper PhD thesis proffers an understanding of how engaging in interconnected selling (IS), defined by the author as the personal selling of products and/or services through being part of a peer support network, facilitates future venturing in women as founders. It argues that the close interaction with customers not only creates awareness of customer needs and market gaps, but also facilitates entrepreneurial learning (EL) and the development of entrepreneurial self-efficacy (ESE) which has the potential to progress the women involved in selling to become venture founders. Specifically in the first paper, 12 women using diary studies documented their selling experiences, especially when these resulted in learning that enhanced IS. Analysis of over 70 unique diary entries showed how the women, in their bid to respond to customer requirements, developed and actively experimented with new entrepreneurial skills in financial and resource management, innovativeness and people skills. While these developed skills were used to better exploit IS, the paper concludes that they could also be leveraged for future venturing. The second paper further explores the diary studies methodology utilised in Paper 1, and makes contributions to the entrepreneurship literature that pertain to methodological choices for understanding processes. Analysing both diary data and meta data, the paper highlights the advantages of diary study as a rigorous research method that also has the potential to positively impact the research participants. The third paper continues the discussion on IS, women and future venturing through in-depth interviews of 25 women (13 venture founders who were previously interconnected sellers and 12 who are still active interconnected sellers and haven’t founded a venture). It finds that successful selling experiences (‘selling wins’) and relatable advisers strengthen the women’s belief in their entrepreneurial ability. Furthermore, women who once believed they lacked the ability to found their own autonomous venture developed ESE to reframe their previous beliefs and progress to becoming venture founders. This is through the development of reframing self-efficacy, an original contribution of this research. The thesis builds on existing knowledge of women’s preference to learn experientially while simultaneously developing ESE. It goes further to suggest selling as an entrepreneurial practice which could trigger and sustain EL and ESE, and consequently facilitate future venturing in women as founders. The study has implications for policymakers seeking to enhance venturing in women, and suggests that initiatives designed for aspiring women entrepreneurs should encompass practice-based experiences such as IS.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2023 16:33
    Last Modified: 27 Nov 2023 19:21


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