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This study takes part of the project Women and entrepreneurship from a competence perspective and aims to investigate the role of skills and abilities in explaining the women entrepreneurship. In this sense, it works on the idea that women entrepreneurs have specific competences, understood as the sum of skills and abilities, that characterize and determine the type of female entrepreneurship typology, sector, size, innovation, creativity.

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Methodologically, it worked from a qualitative approach, supported by conducting semi-structured interviews of men and women from different socio-economic and business profiles. From an inductive and interpretive discursive analysis, it can be concluded that businessmen and businesswomen agree to grant several skills and abilities to women entrepreneurs, although there are ificant differences between the perceptions of women and men, subsisting some gender stereotypes in defining the profile of women entrepreneurs.

According to the theory of economic development of Schumpetereconomic development rests on the capacity for innovation of entrepreneurs in creating new businesses. In this way, the entrepreneur has grown in importance since he or she reveals as an innovator, organizer and as an agent that enables economic growth.

Thus, entrepreneurship is an activity that is seen as favourable for economic growth through job creation, innovation and wealth GEM, The figure of businessman or the entrepreneur has been traditionally associated with the male, due in part because the attributes that are associated with this activity are understood to be strictly male. What might collaborate, as recognized in the GEM Reportto entrepreneurial activity in Spain is more suitable for men than women. According to that report on Spain, there are no ificant differences in the profile of women and men entrepreneurs because of age around 38 years and a family nucleus of belonging 3 members.

However, the differences are observed with regard to the level of studies — higher in women; income — higher in men; sector of the activity — women in consumption and men in technological activities; and the geographical origin — the entrepreneurship of foreign origin is higher among women. Other notable distinguishing features are, first, less optimism by the women regarding growth prospects of the company and, secondly, the motivation to undertake appears linked to the need factor to a greater extent in women than in men.

The contextualization allows us to minimally outline the current state of entrepreneurship in our country and its distinctions when we introduce the gender variable, but beyond that general approach, this paper aims to make an approach to female entrepreneurship from a competence perspective and specifically it tries to know, through the discourse of entrepreneurs, if consensus exists when a series of specific skills and abilities that could contribute or hinder the development of this entrepreneurial activity by women is established.

In this regard, it is clear that the task of undertaking requires general skills — and some specific — that must be acquired and developed for this task to be successful Alda-Varas, Villardo?? In this sense, the ANECA considers the existence of five general competence groups that should be considered when demanded by the labour market: those related to the knowledge, critical thinking, time management, organization and communication.

On the development of skills on the part of the entrepreneurs, these skills are also put into practice and manifest as a series of knowledge, like skills for adaptation and flexibility and skills for proactivity and negotiation — favouring the qualification of people and the successful development of their entrepreneurial activity Olaz, But just as men and women learn and behave differentially, perhaps the entrepreneurial activities are undertaken under different patterns.

Therefore, as Pineda points out, it is necessary to study the entrepreneurial initiative of women and men attending the gender structure of entrepreneurship, since otherwise they would be studied by neutral and universal entrepreneurs patterns that reflect only practices and proper male ideals in entrepreneurial action.

Catering to this demand of specific analysis for gender implies agreeing that the concept of entrepreneurship is socially and culturally constructed, so that, like other aspects that make social action, they should be analyzed from the reproduction of practices learned through a differential socialization process by gender. The theory of differential socialization Giddens, states that women internalize values, norms and codes other than the man in the process of socialization transmitted behaviour patterns and differential expectations for children, which could lead to uneven development of skills, such as perseverance, prudence or empathy attributed more to women, or the security and independence attributes generally of masculine cut.

In this process, the development of skills could also be differential, refining some skills above others in terms of gender. Together, these abilities and skills learned and developed differentially might influence positively or negatively the undertaken action, moderating unevenly in women and men. There is interest, therefore, to know what skills and abilities are commonly attributed to women entrepreneurs from the point of view of the women themselves exercising their corporate responsibilities, and from the point of view of men entrepreneurs.

To do this, the discourses of a of businessmen and businesswomen with different socio-demographic and occupational profiles have been analyzed, which allows to go in depth, both in competence characteristics subjectively considered treasured for women entrepreneurs, and those considered ideal for a successful woman entrepreneurial.

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The study of the concepts of abilities and skills involves the consideration that both items belong, along with the knowledge, to the broader field of competence Olaz, Regarding the concept of competence and its definition, there have been and are a multitude of approaches. The first approach may be as to McClellandwho posed competence as anything that allows improved performance of a task. In an attempt to collect the many definitions of this concept, Moreno, Pelayo, and Vargas have considered other ones that belong to authors, such as Boyatzisp. This paper elaborates on the analysis of two of the elements that make up the area of competence: the abilities and skills.

Regarding abilities, it can be said that they are particular elements of an individual's personality that allow the execution of tasks and determine the successful development of such a task or activity. In the words of Olazp. That said, it can be understood that skills are only related to the innate characteristics of the individual. However, skills are socially conditioned by the family and the school as fundamental agencies of socialization.

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In terms of skills, they can be defined, as does the European Commission on the European Qualifications Framework, as the ability of the individual to the application of knowledge in order to perform tasks and solve problems through the use of any technique. Sennett believes that skills are practices that are a result of training and not by inspiration. And in the words of Olazp. Cobo establishes the existence of hard and soft skills. The first are acquired through training and through them specific knowledge and skills are applied.

Soft skills are acquired through training and practice, being related to the tacit knowledge gained through the process of socialization. As can be seen, it is not easy to distinguish clearly between skills and abilities and in fact terminological imprecision le sometimes to confusion. It is also important to note that although both capabilities and skills are elements or characteristics of the individual, they cannot be acquired if not through a training process of learning and training whether formal or informal, nor can they manifest only when they are applied in a given context.

Both factors, exogenous and endogenous, seem to differentially affect women and men, since as noted above from the data of the GEM Reportthe entrepreneurship has a gender bias, women being less active in this task than men. From an extensive review of the literature on women and entrepreneurship, Castiblanco agreed to emphasize that gender is a moderating element of entrepreneurship, since the activities of self-employed men and women have characteristics that are conditioned by cultural factors assumed roles, differentiated socialization and social factors institutional support, expectationsand certainly also individual factors, as the capacities and skills that have one and the other finally determine and characterize their projects.

Among the blocking factors are mainly external factors, such as difficulties in reconciling work and family life, while among the facilitators those that mainly stand out are individual cutting issues, as some skills and abilities are developed mainly by women as management practice, a sense of responsibility or versatility, and which moved to vision and business management as added values.

In any case, there is agreement to emphasize that men and women do not start with higher or lower capacities and skills, but that they tend to be different, so that sometimes they would collaborate and others may hinder the task of undertaking. In this sense, for Ferreirowomen do not feel less capable to develop entrepreneurial projects, but it seems that man develops in higher grade capabilities that could be seen as more related to this activity: higher risk tolerance, greater competitiveness, ability to perceive business opportunities or to develop business networks, etc.

All this could help explain, among other factors, most entrepreneurial activity of men. In addition, not only is there a difference in measuring actual skills acquired and developed by women and men, but even seemingly informal factors, such as own perception of both society and women; the perception that women themselves have of their skills as entrepreneurs is different. It is curious, however, that these perceptions vary when asked to the population in general and when the question is made to the entrepreneurs themselves.

Thus, Ruiz, Coduras, and Camelo conclude that although higher levels of self-confidence, risk tolerance, ability to recognize business opportunities and a greater entrepreneurial intention in the male population than in the female are observed in the population in general, when the question is made directly to men and women with entrepreneurial projects underway, no ificant differences were observed in these perceptual factors.

Or put another way, women entrepreneurs see themselves in similar terms to their male counterparts, equaling to them by overcoming the socially constructed stereotypes. The differential aspect of this research is that the answers of university students are analyzed, that is to say, investigated for the perception of their own abilities with those who could be future entrepreneurs.

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The differences here are also relevant, since men are considered with biggest initiative, creativity, self-confidence, optimism and tolerance against a possible failure, while women are seen as more self-disciplined and willing to endure longer to getmore rigorous at work and with more risk aversion. Therefore, and as seems to be concluded from thesemen and women have self-confered competences that could contribute to entrepreneurial activity. The point is that, in general terms, the of this study show that entrepreneurial predisposition remains lower among women, perhaps because of the increased risk aversion that is recognized, or perhaps, as indicated by Ventura and Querobecause the intention of undertaking in the case of women depends on a greater of variables.

Put in other words, the attitude conducive to entrepreneurship is more affected by conditions in the case of women than in men. Finally, like any social phenomenon, the explanation to the different intentions and entrepreneurial activities of men and women has many causes, but among the most important seems to be the perception, acquisition and development of skills and abilities, that if not determined, then at least must result in moderating the business project by gender.

This research is deed from a qualitative methodology focused on conducting semi-structured interviews to a group of women and men entrepreneurs, managers of companies located in the Region of Murcia, which have different socio-economic and professional profiles.

The selection of the people who participated in the research, 5 men and 5 women, was done under the criteria of structural or typological sampling, with the objective of ensuring the discursive ificance within the reality under study. The objectives of this work are specified as to 1 analyze what competence issues are presented by female entrepreneurship and try to 2 define the specific competence profile of women entrepreneurs to 3 learn the skills and abilities that promote entrepreneurship and also those that they limit.

For the development of the interviews, a structured script by thematic blocks related to the general objectives of the research was deed. Specifically, for this paper, we wanted to address the subjective perception that businesswomen and businessmen have and about what competences the businesswomen treasure, as that could help to understand the female entrepreneurship at present, as well as a prospective approach to the qualities that are taken as ideal and that, according to the respondents, should result in a successful woman entrepreneur.

After the realization of the interviews, we proceeded to transcribe, prepare and organize the material resulting from the fieldwork. The information processing was done using the Atlas-Ti programme, creating primary documents from the transcripts, which were read and analyzed textually for the identification and creation of codes and.

Specifically for this work, we proceeded to analyze the questions 3 and 8, included in the interview script that was used for the fieldwork. The analysis of the narratives of businessmen and businesswomen on the characteristics of female entrepreneurship allows to observe what are the terms used by each of them and how women and men are associated with certain capabilities and skills — not always coincident — to women entrepreneurship. Starting with the abilities that allow understanding and assessing the current female entrepreneurship Fig. In addition, all the mentioned capabilities are facilitators of entrepreneurial activity, both those that are specific to a male norm entrepreneur as those that are more typical of female norm.

Relation of abilities that businesswomen have. Orange: outstanding abilities only by women; Green: outstanding abilities only by men; Brown: abilities highlighted both by women as by men. Among the abilities considered more frequently in women as in men's discourse are perseverance displayed on 2 occasions in the female discourse and 6 in the male oneempathy 3 and 2, respectivelyorganizational skills 2 and 1, respectivelyefficiency 1 and 2, respectively and diversification 1 and 2 respectively. In the women's discourse the abilities most marked are self-security appears 4 timesand the courage and ability to assume risk appears 3 times.

The self-confidence, the trust that you are able to do, and take the risk, to say that although I cannot get it right I will do it E3-Women. Meanwhile, in the men's speech, the most important skills to understand female entrepreneurship are inquisitiveness and self-sufficiency, and perseverance shown 6 times each. Persevering, insistent, it cannot leave the project at the first moment because surely are going to come many bad times and will have to overcome them E6-Man. Therefore, although some matches are appreciated, we found a ificantly different association in the discourse of women and men when referring to the abilities that businesswomen believe they have.

Only men set out abilities like social sensitivity, the ability of personal attention and patience that have traditionally been associated with the acquits of female abilities. The woman certainly has, I think in general, and of course talking about maximum and not of absolute truths, more social sensitivity EMan. This may indicate the persistence of a male speech in which gender stereotypes have an important role. While on the contrary, it is only women who consider their own abilities, such as self-improvement and, above all, courage and risk-taking, which are recognized as male capabilities, according to multiple studies collected by Ruiz et al.

This could indicate that women entrepreneurs have begun to renounce the traditional discourse influenced by gender stereotypes. Ability to self-improvement, that is to say, be present, plant yourself and know that every day you will learn something new. Everyday someone poking you in your comfort zone and you are the whole day testing yourself E4-Women.

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