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2012 Archives

The Economy And Female Entrepreneurs


The following is from the Spring/Summer edition of SMU Magazine.

Professor Maria Minniti and Kalindi Dinoffer
Professor Maria Minniti (left) and Kalindi Dinoffer

May 30, 2012

The ongoing economic crisis has underlined the importance of female entrepreneurship, which historically has been a significant defense against economic distress for many families.

First-year B.B.A. Scholar Kalindi Dinoffer is searching through historical records and data to learn what conditions best promote this activity in both good and bad economic times, and eventually may search as far back as the Colonial era.

The information will support research conducted by Maria Minniti, Bobby B. Lyle Chair of Entrepreneurship at Cox School of Business, who plans to expand her study of female entrepreneurship into a book. Minniti says she recognized resourceful and detail-oriented qualities in Dinoffer, who took a business decision-making class from her last fall, which would make for a reliable research assistant.

The two meet weekly to go over the data that Dinoffer has found.

“Learning more about female entrepreneurship and its historical evolution will teach us a lot about how individuals (both men and women) respond to incentives, to uncertainty, and how employment choices are made,” Minniti says. “We also will learn what policies and institutional systems are more conducive to women’s participation in the labor force and how the legal and regulatory systems molded the socioeconomic dynamics of the U.S. labor market.”

Dinoffer, who is also considering studies in the social sciences and economics, thought she would conduct the research for a semester, but “now I’ve gotten invested in this and can’t just hand off the data to someone else! And I’ve learned that interacting with faculty is what you make of it, that they respond if you show you’re interested. Dr. Minniti has gone above and beyond in making herself accessible to her students.”

Read more about shared explorations at SMU, where faculty mentor young researchers in their quest for knowledge.

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