Date of Conferral



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




Denise L. Hackett


Access to growth capital, a critical factor for growing a successful, sustainable business, is a challenge for women-owned small businesses. Following the resource based theory, the purpose of this multiple case study was to explore what capital growth strategies 6 small women-owned business leaders in the defense industry in Dayton, Ohio used to ensure business sustainability beyond the initial start-up period of 1 year. Data were collected through semistructured interviews and company documents. Methodological triangulation, member checking, reflexivity, and an audit trail were used to strengthen credibility and trustworthiness. Based on thematic analysis of the data, emergent themes included growth strategies, risk, and cultivate relationships. Participants pursued low-cost slow-growth strategies to remain viable in a highly competitive marketplace; mitigated risk by aligning business decisions with their strategic plans and diversifying their business and customer base; and cultivated relationships with government agencies, customers, partners, and employees to obtain capital to sustain and grow their businesses. The implications for positive social change include the potential to provide women-owned small business leaders with strategies to obtain growth capital necessary for sustainability, contributing to economic growth of businesses, employees, employees' families, and communities.