|M.Sc Thesis||Department of Architecture and Town Planning|
|Supervisor:||Assoc. Prof. Czamanski Daniel|
This thesis incorporates an extensive case-study of women entrepreneurs in the Kibbutz along with an analysis of the development of small businesses by women in this specialized organizational structure.
Kibbutzim, which until recently constituted a closed social-financial system, opened their doors to new income sources because of changes in the broader economic environment in which they operate. The present research analyzed factors which influence the creation of enterprises by women in Kibbutzim and identified patterns of business behavior exhibited by women entrepreneurs within the Kibbutz framework.
The hypothesis was that women in the Kibbutz are influenced by the social environment in which they operate to behave in ways that would not be expected of women entrepreneurs outside of a Kibbutz framework. Because the Kibbutz is a communal structure a woman who wishes to start a business cannot do so on her own. The determination of whether a particular enterprise will make a financial contribution to the community, or if the idea warrants investment by the community is in the hands, not of the woman herself, of a communal structure in which there are many voices and points of view as well as vested interests.
Female Kibbutz members have generally been directed to traditional “women’s work” within the Kibbutz such as work with children, teaching, working in the laundry, etc. More recently women in Kibbutz, as women everywhere, have sought new frameworks for self expression through work in fields that were previously closed to them, including the option of starting new businesses for their Kibbutzim.
The typical Kibbutz female entrepreneur may be characterized as a Kibbutz born native with high school education, married, with grown children, whose previous work experience was in education or services to Kibbutz members, i.e., traditional “women’s work”. However, upon reaching her early to mid 40’s this woman has discovered a need for more fulfilling outlets for her creative and entrepreneurial spirit and has sought to develop a “second career”. Often this entails starting a new business for the Kibbutz.
In order to achieve this goal she needs the support of her fellow Kibbutz members in the decision to start the business which she is interested in establishing and the moral support which validates her worth to the community. The study shows that women in the Kibbutz represent a previously untapped source of ideas, energy and know how that, if nurtured and supported by the community, will have very positive social and financial benefits for the Kibbutz.