Home-based Business Workspace: Satisfaction of North Dakota Women Entrepreneurs

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Virginia Tech

This study obtained data on North Dakota women entrepreneurs engaged in home-based businesses in order to provide a profile of this population. The study also determined what demographic characteristics and workspace conditions are related to satisfaction with the workspace.

The Women's Business Institute provided the database. The survey method was an opscan format mail questionnaire, which produced a 38% response rate. Chi-Square and Phi Coefficient analysis of 116 responses provided answers to the research questions. A telephone survey of non-respondents suggested that the responses were representative of the sample.

Testing of the model showed the following major findings: (1) These North Dakota home-based businesses are small, part-time, developing businesses fulfilling personal as well as economic needs. (2) The women entrepreneurs are well educated, middle-aged, and have no children under five years of age. (3) Most of the businesses are not the major source of income for the household. Almost two-thirds of the entrpreneurs report that the business provides less than 20% of the total household income. (4) Almost three-fourths of the sample expressed satisfaction with all five workspace variables: space, privacy, security, personal safety, and accessibility. The women entrepreneurs are committed to having a business in the home, as suggested by their designation for workspace and storage, and time spent in the workspace.

This sample showed that a business can be integrated into the home without decreasing satisfaction with housing. Also, this group of entrepreneurs may be an indicator of an emerging style of home-based business, "hobbypreneurs." They seek fulfillment of personal needs as well as economic needs, and spend most of the business time in the workspace versus away from home.

Women, Satisfaction, Home-based business, Entrepreneur, Housing