Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Ronald Jones


Women business owners lacking adequate business knowledge often fail within the first 5 years. Business knowledge is a critical competency for women to compete, grow, and survive in business for more than 5 years. Grounded in the organizational life cycle model, the purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore the strategies that women business owners used to sustain their enterprises for more than 5 years. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews with 7 women business owners in Missouri, member checking, and a review of company documents. Data were analyzed using Yin’s 5-step process: compiling, disassembling, reassembling, interpreting, and drawing a conclusion from the data. There were 4 emergent themes: business knowledge, financial strategies, marketing strategies, and relationships. A key recommendation is for women business owners to incorporate business knowledge and leverage relationships with mentors, to create brand awareness through marketing to survive in business for more than 5 years. The implications for positive social change include the potential for women business owners to maintain their businesses, create employment for individuals to support their families, and improve their local communities’ economies.