Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University
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Customer Communication and the Small Ethnic Firm
Vol. Volume 8, Number 1 April/2003

Linda M. Dyer, Christopher A. Ross
The emergence of a small and medium enterprise sector and conditions supporting entrepreneurship are key elements in the transition to a market economy. This article reports the findings of a survey of Russian women business owners, and relates the results to key areas of entrepreneurship research. Evidence is found of entrepreneurship among this set of Russian women business owners. A majority chose growth and expansion as important business goals. They also engaged in innovative strategic practices – importing and exporting, and providing benefits to their employees – and those with a growth (entrepreneurial) goal for their business were more likely to be engaging in such practices. Contextual factors loomed large: the most important issues respondents faced were external to their businesses and overshadowed internal concerns, such as maintaining business profitability. Despite formidable barriers, including a serious shortage of capital, they were making a substantial contribution to their economy and remained optimistic about the future of their businesses.