Proposal preview

Female Entrepreneurs Around the World: Property Rights and Ownership, 17th – 20th Centuries.

For the past twenty years, the issue of women’s economic role in the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries has been attracting increasing interest on the part of academics, especially from Europe and the USA. This session contributes to balance state of the art by bringing together scholars whose works explore the diversity and evolution of female entrepreneurial practices in European, North and Latin American countries and in Asia and Australia too.
Within the wide temporal framework from 17th to 20th centuries and experiences from ten countries (such as Argentina, Australia, Colonial America, Great Britain, Germany, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Turkey, and New Zealand) the session intends to focus on general questions about female participation in enterprises as owners. The panel includes ten papers that will focus on the women’s property rights and the ownership of the firms.
These papers are based on primary sources, including archival documents, containing the statistical information on female entrepreneurs, and attempt to analyze the relevant statistics with regard to wide range of enterprises, from the tiniest to the very largest. Thus, most studies focus on the patterns of ownership of the firms, type of property (inherited or acquired), social background of the proprietresses, marital status of female entrepreneurs, participation of women as directors and stakeholders, their business strategies and role/partnership within a family firm framework, the conquer of the management chairs. This session will show an investigation of regional models in the mirror of the ‘separate spheres’ paradigm.
The analysis of lively case-histories reveals the background of a number of fortunes including instances of bankruptcy and property litigations, involving closest relatives.
The session discussion on correlation of the dynamic of female entrepreneurship’s development with its reflection in legislation will hopefully make it possible to elucidate the issue of opportunities and restrictions for women engaged in business, and to provide an answer to the question concerning the process of the extension of women’s civil rights.


  • Galina Ulyanova, Institute of Russian History, Russian Academy of Sciences,, Russia
  • Susana Martinez-Rodriguez, University of Murcia,, Spain

Session members

  • Galina Ulianova , Institute of Russian History, Russian Academy of Sciences,
  • Susana Martínez-Rodríguez , University of Murcia,
  • Seven Agir , Middle East Technical University,
  • Erica Salvaj , Universidad del Desarrollo and Universidad Torcuato Di Tella,
  • Andrea Lluch , CONICET/UNL Pam-Argentina and Universidad de Los Andres,
  • Amanda Gregg , Middlebury College,
  • Tanya Byker , Middlebury College,
  • Catherine Bishop , Sydney University,
  • Gabriela Recio , Real Colegio de México,
  • Stefanie van de Kerkhof, University of Mannheim,
  • Helen Doe , University of Exeter,
  • Kim Todt , Ithaca University,

Proposed discussant(s)

  • Béatrice Craig , University of Ottawa,


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