The Beginning of Female Entrepreneurship in Scientific and Fictional Works of Croatian Authors

Ksenija Vuković


The purpose of this paper is to make visible the entrepreneurial role of women in the 19th century in Croatia as well as to emphasize the diversity of women's experiences. The analysis of the features of female entrepreneurship is based on the scientific, mostly historiographic sources of Croatian researchers, such as quantitative data (census data, reports of chamber of trade and crafts, statistical yearbooks), court cases, newspapers notes. This array of analytic tools is also enriched by adding citations from fictional works of Croatian 19th century writers. The aim of the article is to reconstruct the image of the female entrepreneur in Croatia, compare it with its European counterparts and transpose this image into the Croatian socio-cultural and economic context. The author tries to investigate if there are consistent determinants such as culture and values that affect entrepreneurship and economic growth in the long run. The concentration of female entrepreneurs in "female segments" of the economy was a way of avoiding barriers to entry. Although they were faced with a lack of education, property and capital that ensure business success, women conquered the vital and dynamic segment of small businesses in the services sector. Using the effective survival strategies, they quietly created their own individual space and economic independence.


entrepreneurship; women; 19th century; Croatia; Europe

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096