Imagery of Regent people and campus

Dissertation Abstract

The Impact of Mentoring and Social Networks on the Entrepreneurial Leadership Characteristics, Entrepreneurial Self-Efficacy and Overall Business Success of Women Who Own Small Government Contracting Businesses

Freda J. Powell
April 2010

The expansion and growth of free enterprise has become a model for economic development within the United States and across the world. The concept of entrepreneurial leadership is becoming a popular topic, specifically in the area of technology and government contracting. With work moving overseas and the U.S. economy hitting alarmingly low margins, efforts of entrepreneurial leaders to revitalize the economy is a must. Entrepreneurial leaders need to possess certain qualities to help them propel their businesses in competitive marketplaces and help rebuild the economic stability of the nation. This is especially true for female-owned businesses. The rise of free enterprise is also seeing a growth in female-owned businesses. One thing that has become important for these businesses to remain successful is the entrepreneurial leadership development of their owners. There are several leadership characteristics that stand out for successful women entrepreneurial leaders to possess, especially in businesses that engage in government contracting. This study looks at the entrepreneurial leadership characteristics that are needed and determines what impact, if any, peer-to-peer mentoring and involvement in social networks plays on the development of these leadership characteristics and what impact they have on the entrepreneurial self-efficacy perceptions of women who own and operate small government contracting companies.