Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Patricia A. Fusch


Women-owned businesses are one of the fastest growing entrepreneurial populations, accounting for 8 million of the 28 million small businesses in the United States. Small businesses fail at a rate of 55% by the 5th year of operation and women, who own over 30% of all small businesses, contribute significantly to the 55% small business failure rate. Using Schumpeter's framework, this single exploratory case study investigated how women entrepreneurial small business owners use strategies to sustain their business operation beyond 5 years. A purposeful sample identified 2 women salon small business owners located in the Macon, Georgia metro area. Data were collected from semistructured interviews and a review of company documents. Three emergent themes were identified using Yin's 5 step analytic strategy approach: motivation for business start-ups, which included the motivation, skills, and education needed for business sustainability; success factors, which included innovation and the overall business environment, and employee and customer satisfaction which included customer and human relations. The impact of these practices can enhance social change by contributing to the sustainability and profitability of the organization which can enhance the economic security of the family, community, and the nation. New knowledge from this study could impact entrepreneurship success strategies and increase the number of women-owned businesses beyond the first 5 years of operation.