The key focus of this chapter is to set women’s businesses into a comparative context with those of men, using the same source. This is important because male proprietor’s ventures were no more homogeneous than women’s. It allows us to see a scale of enterprise with some gendered elements, rather than holding up an imaginary, standardized male enterprise as the benchmark norm. Having established that women could engage in business in the nineteenth century and that this was seen as suitable work by many Victorian commentators, actually revealing these women and the full diversity and extent of their enterprises is still challenging. In studies of businesswomen active in earlier centuries, historians have resorted to looking for shadows of their economic endeavours in advertising, general government statistics, and trade directories. All these sources have their benefi ts and provide us with valuable snapshots of women that operated businesses. However, there are serious shortcomings for each of these sources and consequently for any study based solely upon them. For example, in the case of newspaper advertisements, it was expensive for a proprietor to place a newspaper advertisement until well into the nineteenth century, rendering the costs prohibitive to a large part of the small business and self-employed population. Also, as will be touched on in the next chapter, it seems different ‘Public’ methods may well have been favoured in different marketplaces. Therefore, this material can provide us with interesting examples but this kind of evidence will remain anecdotal unless put into context by a more empirical study. Similarly, trade directories were biased in their compilation and coverage and the census descriptions and classifi cations even more so. Hence, any study of women in business in the nineteenth century must by necessity be innovative in its use of sources if it is to reveal the women hidden by the limitations of many sources.