Business history is now seen variously as a key to understanding a vital aspect of the past, a source of parallels and insights into modern business practice, and a way of understanding the evolution of modern business practice. Any division into traditionally gendered occupations can be problematic. All of that work would have been undertaken by the female members of the proprietor's household or by his female servants. It provides thoughtful insight into the interrelatedness of the sociocultural and economic environment of the early nineteenth century and women's entrepreneurial businesses. In fact, although it is impossible to tell how many widows took over a dead husband's business in order to preserve it for a son's majority, there is clear evidence that some widows continued their business with adult sons as junior partners. Using both discourse and data to connect enterprise, proprietor and household, The Foundations of Female Entrepreneurship provides a multi-dimensional picture of the Victorian female proprietor and moves beyond the stereotypes. Nonetheless, the author conveys the discipline of Quaker capitalism and the importance it placed on the idea of wealth creation being good for all.
As the century progressed and with the advent of the sewing machine, life did not automatically become easier for seamstresses and dressmakers, who still worked long hours in cramped conditions, their backs bent over sewing machines in. This is not unusual today either, whether or not businesses are male- or female-owned and -run. Business could be conducted from the home in a time when a converted downstairs front room often doubled as a shop front. Given the current controversy over the accuracy of the census in recording female occupations, it would have been useful to know if the 1851 and 1861 censuses confirmed the occupational title given on the insurance policy. Her life could even turn for the worse if she never married.
Net 'As Kay's careful study of the London case demonstrates, the constraints on women's public activity in the nineteenth century were not insurmountable. This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. These employers, it was alleged, were forced to overwork or let go the women in their employ for lack of secure capital — in other words, the failure of wealthy women to pay their bills on time. From my own experiments with this form of lighting, I find it hard to understand how any maker who was in the third light, or even the second light come to that, could make lace from that single source of illumination! The Foundations of Female Entrepreneurship explores the relationship between home, household headship and enterprise in Victorian London. Using a range of written and photographic evidence this article explores the extent to which fashion informed the marketing strategies of men's multiple tailors in their construction of a suit-wearing democracy. Modern approaches emphasise that women benefit from a wide array of mentors, not just someone in the same field as the mentee. There is more information on the cost of retaining servants in this earlier.
I have adored Jane Austen almost all of my life. Kay connects 'a little enterprise' in the home with entrepreneurship characterized by self-employment or small business, and comprehending men as well as women, alongside the appearance of much larger forms of capitalization. Kay finds milliners and dressmakers aplenty, but she also finds blacksmiths, wheelwrights and omnibus proprietors, among many other businesswomen. It is a common mistake to confuse one needlewoman with another, but as Kay points out, 'the businesswoman milliner is a different creature to the jobbing sempstress': one designed and made or had made individual garments; the other worked by the piece, either for a milliner or stitching pre-cut ready-made clothes p. The author presents a detailed documented research study based on evidence from insurance records, business accounts, census, and directories, along with other collections such as trade cards.
The laceworkers then arrange themselves around the light in an orderly manner that allows each person to have at least some of the light. This is not the first study to exploit the potential of the Sun Fire insurance registers for gendered business ownership. Kay, The Foundations of Female Entrepreneurship: Enterprise, home and household in London c. There has been a tendency to view rental income as 'passive investment' when it was done by widows and single women, but Kay sees it instead as 'a classic case of portfolio diversification' p. Female household heads were often widows over two thirds. Image from Regency England by Yvonne Forsling Owning a shop was no guarantee of economic stability, for many wealthy women failed to pay their bills on time, if at all. By engaging in empirical comparisons with men's business, it also reveals similarities and differences with the small to medium sized ventures of male business proprietors.
Yet overlooked by many historians has been the significant incidence of female household headship. Smith knitted small souvenir objects, which Nurse Rooke sold for her. Keeping a lodging house was suitable as an enterprise for gentlewomen, with its 'element of moral guidance'. Yet their earnings of twelve or fifteen shillings per week 1840 quote were hardly sufficient to provide for adequate food and lodging. But when it comes to action, the Government should not be too heavy handed.
Some 643 of these policies were taken out by women insuring business assets. Business historians have perpetuated the myth that women were marginal to commercial activity despite growing evidence of the female contribution to family businesses and to innovative practice. The author also discusses the motivation and goals of many of the women studied as related to their businesses. For example, Blooms London and Albright are both female focused working spaces cultivating colonies of mentorship, empowerment and positivity. Using both discourse and data to connect enterprise, proprietor and household, The Foundations of Female Entrepreneurship provides a multi-dimensional picture of the Victorian female proprietor and moves beyond the stereotypes.
The foundations of female entrepreneurship: enterprise, home and household in London, c. However, Kay's intervention is not simply the identification of active businesswomen, but a new definition of the character of entrepreneurship. But Kay is the first to assess the relative size of the businesses and to correlate them with the census in order to set businesswomen in their family positions. It argues that active business did not exclude women, although careful representation was vital and this has obscured the similarities of their businesses with those of many male business proprietors. List of Figures List of Tables Abbreviations Acknowledgments Introduction Chapter One: Separate and Suitable Chapter Two: Barriers and Bridges Chapter Three: Insuring Her Assets Chapter Four: Retailing Respectability Chapter Five: A Household of Enterprise Chapter Six: Property, Home and Business Chapter Seven: Historical Female Entrepreneurship Conclusion Appendices Notes Bibliography Index Alison Kay began her working life as a business journalist and management analyst before embarking on her doctoral research at Nuffield College, University of Oxford, upon which this book is based. Many women toiled for long hours in poor lighting conditions, with some going blind from their employment. In an age when all sewing and embroidery were done by hand, when lighting was poor and wages were so low that they barely paid for room and board, pity the poor seamstress hunched over her sewing assignments, racing against time to meet a series of deadlines that seem endless, and complying with the exacting standards of a boss and clients who cared not a whit for her comfort.