Chapter

Contextualising Women’s Entrepreneurship in Africa

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.

Abstract

Entrepreneurship is a catalyst for development and growth and has contributed significantly to recent positive economic trends in Africa. Female entrepreneurship positively impacts poverty alleviation and socio-economic development. Yet women make up the majority of the world’s poor, and are in the minority as entrepreneurs everywhere except Africa. Here, women dominate the informal sector and strengthening their capacity for full economic participation is now recognised as a factor to drive growth. The roots of African female entrepreneurship predate colonisation, which resulted in gendering of work and women’s marginalisation from the mainstream economy. Post-independence much has been done to bring women back into the mainstream but obstacles remain to their full economic participation. African entrepreneurship research focuses on factors including institutional voids, capacity building, resources and markets.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the author.

... In contemporary times, women make substantial contributions to African economies and their number increases at a faster pace than men (Kelly et al., 2015;Niethammer, 2013). African women contribute to poverty alleviation and socio-economic development (Boateng, 2018). For example, over 70% of women in sub-Saharan Africa are engaged in the informal economic sector, and their capacity for economic contribution is identified as a factor for growth (Adom, 2015;Fapounda, 2012). ...
... under the theme "2016: African Year of Human Rights", with a particular focus on women's rights, considered the empowerment of women as an important facet of fast-tracking the development process in African countries. According to Boateng (2018), female entrepreneurship has positive impacts on poverty alleviation and socio-economic development. Women constitute the majority of the world's poor, yet they make up the largest percentage of entrepreneurs, dominating the informal sector in Africa . ...
... Entrepreneurship is a spur for growth and development; it has contributed significantly to positive economic growth in Africa Kansheba, 2020;Pepra & Adekoya, 2020;Sun et al., 2020). Female entrepreneurship has positive impacts on poverty alleviation and socio-economic development (Boateng, 2018). Yet, women constitute the majority of the world's poor, but they are in the minority as entrepreneurs everywhere except for Africa, where women dominate the informal sector (ibid.). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Gender inequality remains an important theme in global development conversation because women suffer from gender-related inequalities. Despite the increasing awareness of this problem due to decades of campaigns and interventions, the problem still persists.
... Relatedly, research on entrepreneurship in Africa documents that African entrepreneurial ecosystems feature systems and structures that embed gender-based discriminatory practices and patriarchal cultures, both of which would impede women entrepreneurship (Agyire-Tettey et al., 2018;Amine & Staub, 2009;Asiedu et al., 2013). Notwithstanding the unfavourable entrepreneurial ecosystem for women entrepreneurs, Africa is the only region in the world where women participation in entrepreneurship is the highest (Aterido & Hallward-Driemeier, 2011;Boateng, 2018). Nevertheless, the rate of participation of women entrepreneurship varies across the continent and is not necessarily accompanied by as exciting performance outcomes (Aterido & Hallward-Driemeier, 2011;Bardasi, Blackden, & Guzman, 2007). ...
... According to social feminists, these differences in socialization between female entrepreneurs and their male peers map into differences in worldviews, business approaches, and decisions, which could bring about differences in performance between FOEs and MOEs (Arráiz, 2018;Bardasi et al., 2011;Chodorow, 1971;Lee & Marvel, 2014). According to social feminist theorists, the performance of women entrepreneurs cannot be compared with that of their men peers without accounting for these differences (Boateng, 2018). Thus, policy proposals anchored on the social feminist theory typically comprise components that entail "change of social structures (e.g. ...
... public day-care, equally shared paid parental leave, quotas in public purchasing, or gender-specific business training)" (Foss et al., 2019). Overall, while the liberal feminists point to genderspecific structural barriers, the social feminists offer differences in worldviews, values, motivations, and preferences, as explanation for the potential performance differential between female and male entrepreneurs (Bardasi et al., 2011;Boateng, 2018). ...
Article
Full-text available
The study investigates the performance gap between female-owned enterprises (FOE) and their male-owned (MOE) peers, using data obtained from 1,522 firms included in the World Bank Enterprise Survey (WBES) on Kenya and South Africa. We find that FOEs underperform their MOE counterparts and that the performance differential in both countries is driven by the joint effect of gendered differences in endowments and returns on endowments. We also find that differences in returns on endowments contribute the largest gendered gap in both countries. Our findings not only corroborate the “female under-performance hypothesis,” but also point to the dominance of the social feminist theory in providing explanation for the observed gendered performance gap in both countries. The findings imply that efforts aimed at equalizing opportunities or removing structural barriers to women entrepreneurship would lead to reductions in the observed gendered performance gap; those targeted at reshaping social structures would have even stronger impact in terms of cutting the performance differential, in both countries.
... Credit Cooperative Lending is therefore considered an integral part of inclusive development and a building block for entrepreneurship promotion and poverty reduction (Kumburu & Pande, 2020;Ojong, Simba, & Dana, 2021;Agu Igwe & Ochinanwata, 2021;Chamlee-Wright, 2005;Omona, 2021;Madichie, Gbadamosi, & Rwelamila, 2021). It makes available basic financial and non-financial services at an affordable cost to lowincome segments of society, especially women entrepreneurs (Abor et al, 2018;Annim, 2012;Boateng, 2018;Kumburu & Pande, 2020). They are developed in response to the challenge of accessing credit faced by women entrepreneurs. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined how credit cooperative loans affect women entrepreneurship. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 women entrepreneurs from three Cooperative Lending groups in the Ashaiman Municipality of Ghana. We found that credit cooperative lending groups support and promote women entrepreneurship by providing their members with access to long-term interest-free credit support to start or expand their businesses. We also found that by providing their members with training and capacity-building opportunities to improve their skills for sustainable businesses and their income to pay back their loans, credit cooperative lending groups significantly contribute to women entrepreneurship. The contribution of this study is that it sheds light on how credit cooperative loans help to alleviate the difficulties that women entrepreneurs of the informal sector in Developing Countries face to have access to financial resources.
... Although some progress has been made in improvement in the educational accomplishment of women and their subsequent empowerment through seeking economic stability, women from African developing countries are still lagging behind men in equal entrepreneurial opportunities. Women entrepreneurship in Africa is a relatively under-explored phenomenon (Hill and Akhrass, 2018;Boateng, 2018;Wolf and Frese, 2018;Nziku and Struthers, 2018) and thus we would like to contribute by the conducted analysis to a better understanding of who women entrepreneurs in Africa are. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Frequenter debates around gender entrepreneurship in African developing countries point toward growing interest in tackling female entrepreneurial challenges on the continent. Moreover, studies aiming to understand the individual factors behind female engagement in self-employment activities are still rare, and they often include only one or two countries. Given that, we believe that it is vital to more systematically explore the individual-factors behind female engagement in entrepreneurship and map systematic patterns in their behaviour. Therefore, we explore the individual drivers of female entrepreneurial engagement in six African developing countries by using crosscountry data from the 2014 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM). We include in our analysis data from Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, South Africa and Uganda. By estimating multivariate logistic regression models, we study the differences between women entrepreneurs having employees and those who stay solo self-employed. In addition, we compare both types of female entrepreneurs with wage employees. Both types of women entrepreneurs are compared to wage employees, more confident when it comes to knowledge, skills and experience required to start a new business. We also find differences when it comes to the role of traditional determinants of entrepreneurship, such as education, the number of people living in a household and participation in entrepreneurial training. Finally, we highlight the need to further explore the impact of other individual determinants of female self-employment, especially the role of family and regional culture.
Chapter
This chapter introduces the core discussions of the authors of this edited book—the connection between gender and the Covid-19 pandemic effects, responses, and recovery in Africa. The book underscores the need for swift responses to the plight of African women and the United Nations’ goals aimed at fostering sustainable development. Within this context, the book begins with an evaluation of the effect of the Covid-19 crisis on African women’s social and economic contributions and the need for recovery plans to engender a more prosperous, sustainable future for the continent’s women and girls. Chapters in the book focus on the effects of Covid-19 on African women, implications for achievement of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDGs), and policy recommendations for pandemic recovery in Africa.
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter articulates gender-specific constraints confronting female entrepreneurs and their implications on business outcomes during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Covid-19 pandemic presents a huge threat to women entrepreneurship, as it risks the gains of gender equality already achieved so far. The economic and social challenges caused by the disease have higher negative effects on women who lack the resources to cope with the ramifications. Across the board, women are far more socioeconomically disadvantaged than men. Yet, the Covid-19 pandemic magnifies the extent of the inequality. Narrowing this gender disparity has implications for an equitable and sustainable post-pandemic recovery. Policymakers and stakeholders cannot afford to be gender-blind in mitigation strategies and approaches; responses to the pandemic should be deliberate in encouraging a post-pandemic strategy of participation, parity, and prosperity for women. Normalising the “un-normal” outcome of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic will require both policy and strategic innovations.
Article
Full-text available
Africa is beginning to capture the imagination of entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and scholars as an emerging market of new growth opportunities. Over 15 years, the continent has experienced an average growth rate of 5% (World Economic Forum, 2015: v). Out of its 54 countries, 26 have achieved middleincome status, while the proportion of those living in extreme poverty has fallen from 51% in 2005 to 42% in 2014 (African Development Bank, 2014a: 49). Although there are regional differences, the primary drivers of growth have been rapidly emerging consumer markets, regional economic integration, investment in infrastructure, technological leap-frogging, and the opening up of new markets, especially in the service sector. African economies also face commensurate challenges. Across the continent, economies remain largely agrarian, underpinned by resource-driven growth and still dominated by the informal sector. But what is it about the context that makes Africa such fertile territory for management scholarship?
Article
Full-text available
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a classificatory framework for mapping out entrepreneurs and small businesses with growth potentials in Africa. Design/methodology/approach – The study undertakes a review of the existing development economics and entrepreneurship literature to determine the need for the framework and how to proceed in developing it. Findings – The literature review informs that although enterprise-led growth provides a greater promise for absolute poverty reduction, policymakers lack guidelines on how to identify those with highest potentials for job creation and tax revenue generation. Furthermore, African entrepreneurs can purposefully be classified in terms of their motives and degree of innovation. The classification produces a 2×2 matrix that maps out the growth capabilities of businesses found in a given country or community. Research limitations/implications – The framework provides researchers and policymakers with descriptive categories that can guide their strategies and decisions. Originality/value – Introducing innovation-imitation dimension into the classificatory framework extends and improves previous typologies of small enterprises available in the literature.
Article
Full-text available
Purpose – The purpose of this study is to evaluate the success of a scheme, supported by the Ugandan Agribusiness Initiative Trust, to fund gender and entrepreneurship training for women farmers in the north of Uganda (Gulu District and Lira District). Moreover, this paper reflects upon our experience of delivering training for women farmers and highlights key observations related to women’s entrepreneurship in Uganda. Design/methodology/approach – A practitioner-based reflection which shares the experiences of the process of developing and delivering gender and entrepreneurship training for women in Uganda. Findings – Through the experience of running gender and entrepreneurship training for women farmers in Uganda, a series of barriers to female rural entrepreneurs are highlighted: lack of access to credit, gender inequality, poor infrastructure, lack of access to knowledge and education, negative attitudes towards women and few initiatives to facilitate economic and business success. Originality/value – This paper provides reflection of the experience gained from the delivery of training and interaction with women farmers and entrepreneurs in Uganda.
Article
Full-text available
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore: How do changes in the role of the husband affect the marriage of a woman entrepreneur? How do changes in the marriage affect the woman entrepreneur and her relationship with her business? Design/methodology/approach – A novel theoretical approach based on marriage contract theory, gender role ideology and psychological contracts was used. Qualitative methodology included analysis of multiple cases based on rich interview data gathered from 12 Scandinavian couples. Findings – Research revealed that the pattern of dominance between the husband and wife, the gender role ideologies of the two spouses, and the interaction between this pattern and the gender role ideologies, and overall level of marital harmony were key determinants of husbands’ spousal support. Research limitations/implications – Sample size and geographical limitations. Future research: exploring other cultural settings, further application of marriage and psychological contracts in female entrepreneurship; studies of the impact areas of the husband in the wife’s business – also from the perspective of implicit contracts. Practical implications – Research sheds light on how women run their businesses and how the changing roles of the spouse alter marriage dynamics and influence the wife-business relationship. Social implications – Findings benefit female entrepreneurs considering the launch of a business, couples in which the wife currently owns a business, state and governmental policymakers, business consultants, and entrepreneurship instructors. These findings can help couples better prepare for the demands of entrepreneurship. Originality/value – For scholars: expanded understanding of the work-family interface of female entrepreneurs via novel theoretical approach. For business practitioners: understanding the impact of a spouse on life and career of female entrepreneur.
Article
Full-text available
Purpose – The purpose of this study is to investigate the potential of social enterprise as a strategy for poverty reduction for women. Design/methodology/approach – A literature synthesis on the topic was conducted and patterns, linkages and gaps were examined among key themes to identify how social enterprise can potentially serve as a poverty reduction strategy for women. Findings – The paper presents the findings in terms of specific factors contributing to women’s poverty and hypothesizes mechanisms through which social enterprises can mitigate or address these factors in practice. The paper organizes these findings in an integrative framework that highlights the need to ensure a solid policy foundation is in place before a number of key support mechanisms are enabled, which then facilitate specific types of work that can then grow in a sustainable manner. Research limitations/implications – While the mechanisms and proposed framework are based on the extant literature, additional empirical investigation is required. Practical implications – Women are disproportionately burdened by poverty and the framework presented provides a very practical tool to guide the design of new or diagnosing existing social enterprises targeting poverty reduction for women. Social implications – Without a strategic approach, the risk is either perpetuating the status quo, or worse, placing those women engaged in social enterprises in a worse financial and social position. Originality/value – There is limited research on the poverty reducing role of social enterprise for women and the proposed mechanisms and integrative framework presented provide a means of synthesizing our current knowledge while providing the basis for future investigations. Keywords Poverty reduction, Women, Gender, Social enterprise Paper type Research paper
Article
Full-text available
By exploring difficulty in managing work-family conflict for minority entrepreneurs, this study considers work-family issues for business persons who have received little attention in the literature, yet form new businesses at rates exceeding the national average. We employ a role theory perspective to examine two major research questions using a nationally representative sample of African-American, Mexican-American, Korean-American, and White business owners. Specifically, we ask: do minority business owners experience greater difficulty in managing conflicts between work and family roles when compared to White entrepreneurs? And does difficulty in managing work-family conflict negatively impact business performance? Empirical results show that Korean-American and Mexican-American entrepreneurs have greater role demands, and subsequently, higher levels of difficulty in managing work-family conflict than African-Americans and Whites. Furthermore, difficulty in managing work-family conflict negatively impacts business performance whether performance is measured through the perception of the business owner, or through more objective financial measures. We contribute to the literature on minority entrepreneurs as well as expand the work-family conflict literature by shifting the focus from employed individuals to entrepreneurs, and by emphasizing the effect of such conflict on performance rather than well-being.
Article
Full-text available
Purpose ‐ Women-owned businesses are frequently described as under-performing in that the majority remain small and marginal. The authors dispute this description; within this paper, it is argued that such performance profiles reflect the constrained performance of most small firms. The assertion that women owned firms under-perform reflects a gendered bias within the entrepreneurial discourse where femininity and deficit are deemed coterminous. In addition, women-owned firms are expected to under-perform given expectations of female weakness in the context of male normativity and superiority. Accordingly, the aim of this paper is to critically evaluate the association between gender and business performance suggesting that this critique has implications for the broader development of our understanding of entrepreneuring behaviours. Design/methodology/approach ‐ This is a conceptual research note which explores the notion of performance and under-performance in the context of gender. Findings ‐ It is argued that gendered socio-economic positioning ensures that women-owned businesses demonstrate constrained performance but this is not synonymous with under-performance. Furthermore, ingrained epistemological gendered biases persist which portray women as flawed entrepreneurs despite the absence of convincing data regarding essential gendered differences between the performance of male and female entrepreneurs. Research limitations/implications ‐ The paper suggests that far greater reflexive criticism is called for regarding epistemological assumptions which shape the current research agenda. Originality/value ‐ This discussion develops a critical analysis of the association between gender, performance and entrepreneuring.
Article
Full-text available
Purpose ‐ Over the past 30 years there has been an increase in the number of women turning to self-employment and business ownership. Middle Eastern women were no exception and increasingly are pursuing entrepreneurship and have become a phenomenon that requires in-depth study and analysis. The purpose of this paper is to shed light on women entrepreneurs in terms of entrepreneurial activity rates, entrepreneurial orientations, demographics and their enterprise characteristics in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The approach utilised is a combination of the literature pertinent to women's entrepreneurship in MENA with the findings of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor's research for 2008-2009. Findings ‐ More women are turning into entrepreneurship in Middle East; however, their percentage is still low compared to their male counterparts. Research limitations/implications ‐ One of the main limitations was the lack of literature discussing women entrepreneurship in the Middle Eastern context and reliable statistics. Originality/value ‐ This paper is one of few papers discussing and comparing women entrepreneurs in eight Middle Eastern countries, along with their enterprises.
Article
Full-text available
Research into entrepreneurship has for many years been interested in the differences in rate of participation and performance by female entrepreneurs. The motivation for considering female entrepreneurship in both developing and developed countries arises from our increasing understanding of the significance of the role of women in creating, running and growing businesses as a fundamental driver for economic growth. This special issue examines the reasons for differences in gender participation across levels of development using empirical studies.
Article
Full-text available
This paper provides an overview of the state of the art of the intersection of development and entrepreneurship. Given the neglect of entrepreneurship by development scholars it deals with (i) recent theoretical insights from the intersection of entrepreneurship and development studies; (ii) the empirical evidence on that relationship between entrepreneurship and development; and (iii) fresh insights for entrepreneurship policy for development that emerges from recent advanced in this area, including female entrepreneurship in developing countries.
Article
Full-text available
Purpose – The aim of this paper is to better understand the good news coming from Africa and reflect on ideas discussed at the “Africa 2060: Good News from Africa” conference in April 2010 organized by Boston University's Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer‐Range Future. Design/methodology/approach – Africa's performance over the last 50 years has been akin to a roller coaster ride of good news followed by bad news, with the bad news dominating. However since the dawn of the millennium Africa's outlook has increasingly become optimistic. As one looks at Africa's future, several questions emerge: which of these gains can be consolidated? Which of the positive trends will be sustained? Has this recent period of global attention provided the continent with a real institutional scaffolding on which a positive future can be built? And what needs to be done to ensure that the dangers of chronic poverty, conflict, and institutional collapse that still lurk in the shadows will be contained long enough that they eventually disappear? Findings – The authors base their observations on the intense discussions during the conference by practitioners and experts and an engaged and informed audience, plus a broader reading of the literature, including that which was presented at the conference. These observations reflect a locus of expert and informed opinion and provide a window into the priorities that are engaging the imaginations of those thinking deep and hard about Africa's future. The authors distill seven key drivers that are of particular importance in shaping Africa's longer‐range future. Of course, all of these can operate in either a positive or a negative direction. It is the decisions that will be made by African and international policy‐makers, businesses, civic organizations, and citizens today that will determine which direction Africa will be “driven” towards tomorrow. Originality/value – There are a number of exciting opportunities that await Africa in its future, but many of these also come with potential hurdles and pitfalls. Innovation, entrepreneurship, technology, knowledge, and globalization are among the areas that have generated significant good news to record from Africa. But within each of these areas there is also the potential and reality of bad news. The choice now lies with African citizens, decision makers and societies as to whether they are able to make the type of decisions that will control the negative tendencies of these drivers and accelerate the positive tendencies.
Article
Full-text available
Bringing together history and economics, this paper presents a historical and processual understanding of women's economic marginalization in Sub-Saharan Africa from the pre-colonial period to the end of colonial rule. It is not that women have not been economically active or productive; it is rather that they have often not been able to claim the proceeds of their labor or have it formally accounted for. The paper focuses on the pre-colonial and colonial periods and outlines three major arguments. First, it discusses the historical processes through which the labor of women was increasingly appropriated even in kinship structures in pre-colonial Africa, utilizing the concepts of"rights in persons"and"wealth in people."Reviewing the processes of production and reproduction, it explains why most slaves in pre-colonial Africa were women and discusses how slavery and slave trade intensified the exploitation of women. Second, it analyzes how the cultivation of cash crops and European missionary constructions of the individual, marriage, and family from the early decades of the 19th century sequestered female labor and made it invisible in the realm of domestic production. Third, it discusses how colonial policies from the late 19th century reinforced the"capture"of female labor and the codification of patriarchy through the nature and operation of the colonial economy and the instrumentality of customary law. The sequel to this paper focuses on the post-colonial period. It examines the continuing relevance and impact of the historical processes this paper discusses on post-colonial economies, and suggests some policy implications.
Article
Full-text available
Purpose – This study seeks to examine the business and social profiles of 67 women entrepreneurs in three regions of Nigeria in order to identify patterns of entrepreneurship and social and economic challenges facing women business owners in Nigeria. The study aims to support and encourage sustainable small-scale economic development activities by Nigerian women and determine ways to integrate these small businesses into existing urban economic development projects and strategies for poverty alleviation, expand understanding of the business and social profiles of women entrepreneurs in Nigeria, examine the contextual influences on their work, raise the level of awareness of women entrepreneurs amongst all economically active agents and researchers, influence social and economic policy addressing issues of women entrepreneurs. Design/methodology/approach – A survey was developed and administered to a sample of 62 practicing Nigerian female entrepreneurs. The survey was divided into sections that recorded personal demographics, the entrepreneur's perceptions of the business environment and their venture and the motivations and drives that led to the birth of their business. Data were collected and processed to produce frequency distributions on every question/variable in the survey followed by cross-tabulations between all variables and χ2 tests in order to reveal strong associations. Findings – With no or few significant differences shown to exist between male and female business owners or managers once they have already started an enterprise, there is a strong indication that Africa has sizeable hidden growth potential in its women. From the results presented, it is evident that female entrepreneurship in Nigeria is driven by micro-financing as well as family dynamics that work to shape and influence the birth of a business. Research limitations/implications – Future research initiatives need to explore the gender dimension and the influence of education levels on the role models that influence and drive female entrepreneurship. In addition, the evolution of the complete life cycle of the entrepreneur's business should be examined and dependencies on the variables presented should be investigated. Finally, research should focus studies whose aim is to influence social and educational policy that encourages women's entrepreneurship in the fight for poverty alleviation in Africa. Originality/value – Unique contribution with information being provided regarding an area that has not been studied before with a quantitative and qualitative method both within the same study.
Article
Full-text available
Purpose – The purpose of this study is to focus on women small and medium enterprises (WSMEs) financed by Kenya Women Finance Trust (KWFT) for poverty alleviation in Kakamega District-Kenya. Design/methodology/approach – The study utilized cross-sectional data from KWFT and follow-up field survey data of women beneficiaries of KWFT credit. Multi-stage stratified sampling technique was adopted to identify 90 women entrepreneurs of the total population of 300. Primary data were gathered using structured and non-structured questionnaires, interview schedules and focus group discussions. The study adopts both qualitative and quantitative data analysis. Findings – KWFT micro credit has had a positive impact upon women entrepreneurs on income savings, asset creation and their general social welfare. However, the KWFT's fight against poverty is constrained by socio-culture and other institutional policy issues such as: right to own property, right to education, own land, manage and inherit property, conduct business, among others. Practical implications – Women have shown that they are strong entrepreneurs, borrowers and change agents through WSMEs. Government of Kenya should urgently adopt a gender policy to address socio-culture issues constraining WSMEs. Further, KWFT should avoid cumbersome loan procedures but rather provide quick and convenient access to credit for women entrepreneurs, simple product offerings, with some flexibility to boost fight against poverty. Originality/value – Linking women entrepreneurship in the context of overall fight against poverty in Western Region in Kenya through KWFT; provide opportunity to add knowledge to current literature critical for academia and women entrepreneurship policy in Kenya in particular, as well as Sub-Saharan African region.
Article
Full-text available
Purpose – The purpose of this study is to examine how feminist attributes are expressed within entrepreneurial identity. Design/methodology/approach – The study employed a purposive sampling technique to recruit 15 self-identified “feminist entrepreneurs”. This included retailers, manufacturers, exploration operators, consultants, and professionals. Qualitative data were subject to content analysis. Findings – Contrary to a feminine archetype portrayed as caring and nurturing, respondents do not describe themselves as typically portrayed in the feminist literature. Prevalent themes included participative leadership, action-oriented, and creative thinker/or problem solver. Research limitations/implications – Researchers should use caution in assuming feminist discourse has direct application to characterizing or stereotyping “feminist” entrepreneurs. The applicability and reliability of “off the shelf” psychometrics to describe contemporary gender roles across the myriads of processes associated with venture creation must also be questioned. Limitations: the purposive and small-sample limits the generalizability of findings to the diverse community of female entrepreneurs. Testing of the applicability, validity, and reliability of the nomenclature used to describe self-identity is warranted across international samples of feminist entrepreneurs. Practical implications – The current study provides an inventory of feminist entrepreneurs' self-described leadership attributes. The nomenclature can be used by women-focused trainers to help clients to recognize their entrepreneurial attributes. Social implications – The study may assist women in recognizing identity synergies and conflicts (e.g. within themselves and among family, employees, clients, etc.). Originality/value – This is the first study that documents feminist entrepreneurs' leadership attributes. As such, the work is a step in seeking to reconcile feminist theory and entrepreneurial practice.
Article
Full-text available
Research articles on women's entrepreneurship reveal, in spite of intentions to the contrary and in spite of inconclusive research results, a tendency to recreate the idea of women as being secondary to men and of women's businesses being of less significance or, at best, as being a complement. Based on a discourse analysis, this article discusses what research practices cause these results. It suggests new research directions that do not reproduce women's subordination but capture more and richer aspects of women's entrepreneurship.
Article
Full-text available
Drawing on social feminist theory, Indian cultural precepts, and previous research, we explore factors which may influence entrepreneurial fulfillment for women entrepreneurs in India. Results of a hierarchical regression analysis suggest that numerous network characteristics, as well as perceptions of family support, each contribute to a sense of entrepreneurial fulfillment for Indian women entrepreneurs. These factors furthermore each contributed to entrepreneurial fulfillment beyond the influence of the financial performance of the venture. Implications for understanding women entrepreneurs in emerging economies are discussed, as are practical implications for both women entrepreneurs and policy makers. We additionally present directions for future research.
Article
Purpose – Women’s entrepreneurship is often seen as the solution of both economic growth and gender equality. This is despite academic knowledge of the gendered preconditions for entrepreneurship in many contexts. This paper aims to focus on the gendering of commercial justice, a precondition for entrepreneurship. Informed by gender perspectives on women’s entrepreneurship and previous studies on commercial justice in East Africa, this paper sets out to explore the experiences of urban women entrepreneurs. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on an interview study with women entrepreneurs and representatives of support organizations in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. The interviews were conducted in Kiswahili, and access was enabled through dialogues with local partner organizations such as the Tanzanian Chamber of Commerce. Findings – Findings are that with formal legal rights, the informal institutions imply that the marital status of the women, and the attitude of their husbands, is the overarching determinants for the commercial justice perceived as available to them. This has implication for many policy areas, such as entrepreneurship support, women’s empowerment and labour market policy. Theoretically, the findings highlight the importance of studying the informal institutions affecting women’s entrepreneurship around the globe. Concerning commercial justice in particular, three dimensions of gendering are identified. Research limitations/implications – The paper is based on a qualitative interview study. Further studies with varying methods are needed to further explore the gendering of commercial justice in Tanzania, East Africa and beyond. Practical implications – A major practical implication of the study is the insight that business for development, will not automatically lead to business for equality, on a general level. The gender bias is also reproduced in everyday business life, for example, thorough access to commercial justice. Special measures to target the gender equality issue are, therefore, necessary. Another implication of the findings regard the importance of Alternative Dispute Resolution initiatives, affordable to women small and medium enterprise-owners. Originality/value – While other obstacles to women’s entrepreneurship in the developing contexts have been well explored, the gendering of perceived commercial justice has not received sufficient attention in previous studies. Studies applying a gender theoretical perspective on entrepreneurship in the explored context are still needed.
Article
Purpose – This study aims to find whether the micro-enterprises lead to women empowerment and entrepreneurship and make them to be wholly involved in income-generating activities by having them choose a business venture of their own. Design/methodology/approach – Women empowerment is very important for the acceleration of economic growth. The economic empowerment of women is being regarded these days as a sine qua non of progress for a country; hence, the issue of economic empowerment of women is of paramount importance to political thinkers, social scientists and reformers. The self-help groups (SHGs) have paved the way for economic independence of rural women. The members of SHGs are involved in micro-entrepreneurships. Empowerment is intellectual capital. Capital is a life blood of any industry. Findings – Without women development, economic development will not take place. Women should be imparted technical knowledge, skill training and marketing techniques in the process of establishing an enterprise by them for more sustainability. Originality/value – Micro-enterprises add values to a country’s economy by creating jobs, enhancing income, strengthening purchasing power, lowering costs and adding business convenience.
Article
Purpose – This paper aims to focus on micro-level women entrepreneurs from a developing country, India (n = 180), their educational and developmental needs and impact on their business performances and growth. Design/methodology/approach – Thirty participants (1:10 ratio) were selected from each cohort/location based on prescribed eligibility criteria covering various backgrounds and industry profiles from six cohorts across India. Findings – It was found that entrepreneurship education and development programs resulted in revenue growth and also employment generation, thereby impacting society at large. This study also demonstrated improvement of self-confidence levels and strategic thinking by the women entrepreneurs, which benefited their business performances and growth. Social implications – Because this study is first of its kind from a developing country like India, it also contributes to entrepreneurship literature by examining and confirming employment generation and thereby impacting society at large (multiplier effects). This study is also unique in the context of the developing world in explicating the impact of education programs and its impact on revenue growth and profitability, which is considered as a major factor for economic development. Originality/value – This is purely an original study carried out in India.
Article
Why do some individuals decide they want to create businesses and then actually do so? Why do others decide against this course of action, even though they appear to have what it takes to succeed? These two questions were among the first that researchers in the field of entrepreneurship tried to answer. Recently, it seems that the problem is much more difficult to solve than it first appeared thirty years ago. The venture creation phenomenon is a complex one, covering a wide variety of situations. The purpose of this 2007 book is to improve our understanding of this complexity by offering both a theory of the entrepreneurial process and practical advice on how to start a new business and manage it effectively. Entrepreneurship and New Value Creation is a fascinating, research-driven book that will appeal to graduate students, researchers and reflective practitioners concerned with the dynamics of the entrepreneurial process.
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of public policies on engendering entrepreneurship and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) development in Nigeria. Gaps in policies and factors that impede entrepreneurship and MSME development are identified and proposals are offered to address the impediments. Design/methodology/approach – A thorough review of the mainstream literature on entrepreneurship and MSME development is undertaken. This constitutes the reference point for identifying and reviewing specific public policies formulated and programs designed to stimulate entrepreneurial activities and facilitate MSME development. Data were obtained from federal government agencies. This paper contends that for public policies to accomplish their designed objectives of engendering entrepreneurship and MSME development, strategic realignments of various policy dimensions and programs are imperative. Findings – Misalignments occur when existing public policies in other domains are in conflict with policies to promote entrepreneurship and MSME development. Policy misalignments negate the profit motive of entrepreneurship; stifle business innovation and expansion; and contribute to survivalist mode of entrepreneurship in the country. This thwarts the public policy goals of creating jobs and alleviating poverty. Practical implications – Government needs to streamline current regulatory requirements and revamp tax policies to encourage entrepreneurs and MSMEs. Improvements in infrastructure (road networks, highways, power supply, and telecommunications) will significantly reduce overhead costs for entrepreneurs and help MSMEs to grow. Originality/value – The paper demonstrates that without strategic realignments of public policies to ensure consistency and coherency in various dimensions, efforts to promote entrepreneurship and MSME development will not yield positive results. Existing public policies and programs need to be brought into tight realignment with policies and regulations in other domains to galvanize entrepreneurial efforts.
Article
This paper analyses the changing relations between organised women market traders and rulers in a West African context, from a distant past to the present. It shows how political elites have used market traders as loyal supporters and as scapegoats for many centuries. These relations have taken a convoluted path that alternates between alliance and repression, in the context of shifts in the political and economic environment. Notorious episodes of price control and market demolitions from 1979 to 1984 are only the most dramatic moments in a long history of official intervention in trade and suspicion of prominent traders. Protecting traders as local citizens alternated with attacking traders as scapegoats for the ills and frustrations of national economic life. The paper focuses on "traditional" forms of organisation among market women, describing their political role, in terms of their interactions between their female leaders and the authorities. It shows how the constant need for negotiation reinforced group loyalty and how such forms of organisation have displayed resilience and adapted to various economic and political shifts.
Article
Purpose – In light of recent enthusiasm over African private sector development, the purpose of this paper is to review the business literature on African enterprise development with a view of identifying lacunas in the literature and of developing an analytical framework that may guide future research on this issue. Design/methodology/approach – The paper provides a review of the extant literature on African enterprise development by juxtaposing the traditional pessimistic view of African business performance with more recent, optimistic accounts. Based on the literature review, lacunas in the literature are identified and an integrative framework for analysing African enterprise development is developed. The framework is used to provide an overview of the received literature on African enterprise development, to identify voids and lacunas and to identify new research agendas. Findings – While a growing number of studies suggest profound improvements in the performance of African enterprises, data limitations, conceptual ambiguities and absence of comprehensive studies still cautions against sweeping generalizations. The paper reviews the literature on factors shaping the performance of African enterprises, observing that while much research is focusing on the role of the African business environments for enterprise development, much less attention has been devoted to the role of firm-specific capabilities, strategies and management. The paper concludes by advocating a contingency approach to research on African enterprise development that emphasizes the interplay between firm-specific factors and the specificities of the African business environment. Originality/value – The paper provides a comprehensive literature review on African enterprise development and presents a novel framework for understanding African enterprise development from a business perspective.
Article
Purpose ‐ With the rapid emergence of scholarly thinking and analysis about entrepreneurship has come a multiplicity of approaches, emanating from different academic traditions. This has resulted in an academic field that is complex and heterogeneous with respect to approaches, methodologies and even the understanding about what exactly constitutes entrepreneurship. The purpose of this paper is to try to reconcile the different approaches and views about entrepreneurship that are prevalent in the literature. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The paper takes the form of a literature review. Findings ‐ The paper finds that while such heterogeneity can be the source of a nuanced and at times contractor research field, it is also the source of richness and diversity that has contributed to making the emerging field so dynamic. Practical implications ‐ The field of entrepreneurship should remain committed to a diversity of approaches, understandings and methodologies about what constitutes entrepreneurial activity. Originality/value ‐ The value of the paper is that it presents a coherent framework that reconciles disparate approaches and understandings about what actually constitutes entrepreneurship.
Purpose ‐ The purpose of this study is to examine whether differences exist between low and high export intensity Tanzanian internationalising small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in respect of their perceived competitiveness in overseas markets. In this study, export intensity, i.e. the percentage exports make towards total turnover, is viewed as a representation of firms' commitment to serving overseas markets. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The methodology employed a quantitative phase involving a questionnaire completed by 205 Tanzanian SMEs; 112 low intensity (exporting less than 50 per cent of their sales) in comparison with 93 high intensity exporting firms (exporting 50 per cent or more of their sales); also a qualitative phase of interviews with international entrepreneurs in 23 firms. Findings ‐ The findings provide an initial understanding of the two types of firms' patterns of internationalisation and, more specifically, statistically significant issues are identified in respect of items perceived as affecting their competitiveness in overseas markets, including the extent to which they concentrated on serving key markets rather than diversifying risk over a number of markets. Practical implications ‐ The results offer insights into the practices of Tanzanian exporting firms and recommendations for policy makers as well as an indication for further research. Originality/value ‐ This research study explores managerial practices of particular types of firms in Tanzania, which have been largely viewed from a developed as opposed to a developing African country perspective.
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop an empirically informed conceptual framework to analyse the gendered relationship between empowerment and entrepreneurship contextualised within the lives of displaced Palestinian migrant women operating home‐based enterprises in Amman, Jordan. Design/methodology/approach – A longitudinal qualitative study was undertaken during which semi‐structured in‐depth interviews were regularly conducted with 43 women producing high‐quality traditional embroidered goods within home‐based enterprises. The empirical material was utilised to inform and illustrate the creation of an empowerment framework. Findings – Entrepreneurship is popularly presented as an individually focused economic undertaking. However, this paper demonstrates it is also a socio‐politically situated activity; within this particular context, marginalised subordinated women were empowered through their home‐based enterprises. Originality/value – This paper offers a gender informed conceptual framework to inform the analyses of empowerment and entrepreneurship. The discussion describes the necessary processes for development goals to be realised, and explains how traditionally subordinated women can utilise enterprise to contribute to social change. In so doing, the proposed conceptual framework acts as a theoretical illustration of the gendered relationship between empowerment and entrepreneurship.
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore future research agendas in the field of gender and entrepreneurship by outlining a critical overview of the current theorising regarding the influence of gender upon entrepreneurial behaviours and activities. Design/methodology/approach – The discussion reviews the state of existing knowledge and extrapolates future areas for potential research. Findings – Whilst there are a number of robust reviews of gender and entrepreneurship, there is much scope to add to existing knowledge particularly by employing a critical feminist stance. In addition, discrete gender critiques are vital to inform a broader and far-reaching appraisal of the entrepreneurial project dominating the contemporary socio economic context. Research limitations/implications – This article is limited by focusing upon discrete themes. However, these are used as exemplars to indicate the potential for future development. Practical implications – The author suggests future avenues for research development and encourages the development of more sophisticated analyses of interrelation between gender and entrepreneurship. Social implications – The author suggests that a gendered critique has broader implications for exposing the bias embedded within the current theorising. Originality/value – Although a review of existing research, there is a thematic development of new opportunities for research development and a call to use gender as a fulcrum to articulate a more searching and critical approach to theorising entrepreneurship.
Article
This paper has three overarching objectives. The first is to document the development of the body of work known as women's entrepreneurship research. The second is to assess the contributions of this work, specifically vis-à-vis the broader entrepreneurship literature. The third is to discuss how this broader literature poses challenges (both difficulties as well as opportunities) for scholarship on female entrepreneurs. We approach these objectives from the standpoint of informed pluralism, seeking to explore whether and how women's entrepreneurship research offers extensions to—and can be extended by—general research on entrepreneurs and their ventures.
Article
This article contributes to the recent stream of research on enterprise and identity by exploring the authenticity-driven identity work of a group of women business owners. While previous research has highlighted the effort some female business owners put into fitting in with the masculine identity of the entrepreneur, this article focuses on those women who self-consciously adopt a feminized entrepreneurial identity as a means of being ‘who I really am’ in a business context. Nevertheless, despite their expressed commitment to a feminized identity, the article highlights their incorporation of a contrasting position or antagonism in this authenticity-driven endeavour. Drawing on Charme's notion of existential authenticity, which places an emphasis on the cultural, historical, political, economic and physical limits to being ‘true to oneself’, the article shows how the situated nature of women's search for an authentically driven entrepreneurial identity means that they draw on a feminized discourse of difference and a contrasting masculine discourse of professionalism in their identity construction labours.
Article
Traditionally, women have had less access to education and have not been expected to run companies, positions typically reserved for men. However, this study demonstrates a trend toward tremendous support for women in business. The purpose of this paper was to gauge indigenous perceptions of the potential for women to own and lead businesses in three developing countries. Based on primary survey data from Thailand, China, and Vietnam, findings provide strong support for educating women, and indicate that women are perceived as being capable of owning and leading businesses and are believed to have the characteristics necessary to be business leaders.
Article
The number of women starting and owning their own businesses has grown dramatically over the past decade. Concurrent with this trend, there has been an increase in the number of research studies focusing on or including women business owners in their samples. This paper reviews empirical research studies on women business owners and their ventures, classifies the studies in a framework, and summarizes trends emerging from this research. To guide future research, a new perspective on women-owned businesses is proposed and research questions, methods, and implications are discussed.
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present MEDA programs in small enterprise development – value chain and microfinance projects – to illustrate that the human capital of even hard to reach women can be harnessed for a community's and even a nation's economic growth. Design/methodology/approach – The paper provides evidence, in the form of case studies, demonstrating that with a relatively low investment of resources, women are empowered to contribute to the growth of the small business sector which is a cornerstone of a robust private sector. Findings – Working with disadvantaged populations that have been relegated to the bottom of the socio‐economic heap has challenges. Program design must overcome a host of constraints including illiteracy and innumeracy, lack of technical and business skills, and the psycho‐social consequences of generations of disenfranchisement. Yet, case after case has proven that these seemingly intractable obstacles diminish with appropriate project interventions. Whether or not the program “targets” or “mainstreams” women should be based on the context and an understanding of women's situation. MEDA has had varying degrees of success with these two approaches, and preliminary findings suggest that value chain projects derive greater benefit from targeted activities than do microfinance programs. The impact of business women's efforts extends well beyond their own businesses, to finance family enterprises, educate children, improve household nutrition, organize community groups, and build more equitable social structures. These “indirect” benefits of the economic empowerment of women will serve any nation committed to the growth of trade and commerce. In fact, some would argue, the authors included, that they are necessary conditions of sustainable wealth creation. Originality/value – The paper presents original case material from a number of MEDA value chain and microfinance projects, both past and present, to illustrate the concept, and share project design and implementation learnings.
Article
A survey of 258 entrepreneurs examined how positive facets of their family experiences, family-to-business enrichment, and support, nurture their satisfaction with work–family balance. Satisfaction with work–family balance was nurtured by instrumental family-to-business enrichment to the advantage of women as a group and by instrumental support from the family at home to the advantage of men as a group. Overall, results supported feminist theories that depict entrepreneurship as a gendered process. Female entrepreneurs tend to nurture satisfaction with work–family balance by creating work–family synergies, whereas male entrepreneurs tend to nurture satisfaction with work–family balance by obtaining family support at home.
Article
Avon's apparent success in using entrepreneurship to help women escape poverty, as well as its staying power in circumstances where similar efforts have failed, has captured the attention of the international development community. This study, the first independent empirical investigation, reports that in South Africa, Avon helps some impoverished women earn a better income and inspires empowerment among them. The authors introduce a new theory, pragmatist feminism, to integrate past work on women's entrepreneurship and argue that feminist scholars should reexamine the histories of the market democracies for replicable innovations that may have empowered women.
Article
Current entrepreneurship theory is organised around three basic constructs, namely market, money and management. Specifically, to launch and grow a venture, an entrepreneur needs to have access to markets, money (financial resources) and management (human and organizational capital). Drawing on institutional theory, this paper argues that in order to study women's entrepreneurship, this '3M' framework needs to be modified by including motherhood and the meso as well as the macro environments. 'Motherhood' represents the micro household/family context, which might have a larger impact on women than men, thus highlighting the embeddedness of female entrepreneurs. The meso environment includes the factors which concern intermediate structures and institutions such as occupational networks; all of which in turn affect the access of women to 'money' and 'market'. The macro environment includes considerations beyond the market, such as expectations of society and cultural norms, national strategies and initiatives. This new '5M' perspective (with meso/macro considered as one additional M) offers a 'gender adequate' framework that allows the study of women's entrepreneurship in its own right, and also brings into focus appropriate approaches for its study. As a foundation for this framework, we review academic publications on women's entrepreneurship using the 5M approach. We elaborate this framework and suggest future research directions for women's entrepreneurship. For the academic research community, the 5M framework developed in this paper helps lay a foundation for coherent research on women's entrepreneurship because it takes into account the social embeddedness of women entrepreneurs and considers the multiple levels of influence on their entrepreneurial actions. For the woman entrepreneur, this analysis has implications for understanding the sources of the challenges they face by providing insights on the importance of the interplay of both individual and societal factors that impact on their enterprise. For policy makers, it turns the spotlight on the need for an integrated approach for fostering female entrepreneurs that is not blind to overarching institutionalised social structures and gender asymmetries.
Article
The informal sector represents 40-60% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP, and employs as much as 93% of non-agricultural workers in Sub-Saharan Africa. Given the importance of this sector, and given the understanding that formal law does not penetrate easily or predictably there, classic business law alone cannot create for informal-sector nano-entrepreneurs an environment comparable to that enjoyed by a business person in the global North.Reform of business law must focus on functionality: how to assist informal-sector businesses by increasing the predictability of transactions while limiting government abuse, all in connection with the formation, operation, and, ultimately, termination of businesses. The attack is two-pronged. Formal law can constrain formal-sector actors, such as some landlords transacting with informal-sector businesses, and mandate that formal-sector actors provide pro-business realities that Northern businesses enjoy, including sanitary work environments. With respect to the informal-sector nano-entrepreneurs, who tend not to be directly affected by formal business laws, but who do have a legal a quasi-traditional legal regime that affects businesses, formal laws that reinforce existing business norms will be the most effective in supporting North-style predictability. Further, a modern legal study focused on the formal sector suggests that, in Sub-Saharan Africa where the legal regimes tend to be highly centralized, formal law can be most effective for nano-entrepreneurs if it assists them in coordinating and, ultimately, in creating or negotiating for basic protections taken for granted by businesses in the global North.
Article
We come from our family’s house to live in our husband’s house. If we mention our name in this house, they say, “Oh, that is another family”. Yet when it comes to working, they say, “What you earn is ours, because you are in this family’s house”, or “because you are working on this family’s land. Let the land be registered in our names, so that we will not always feel like we are in someone else’s family”. (Santokbehn, agricultural laborer, Ahmedabad) In your joint family, I am known as the second daughter-in-law. All these years I have known myself as no more than that. Today, after efteen years, as I stand alone by the sea, I know that I have another identity, which is my relationship with the universe and its creator. That gives me the courage to write this letter as myself, not as the second daughter-in-law of your family … I am not one to die easily. That is what I want to say in this letter. (Rabindranath Tagore, ‘Letter from a Wife’, 1914) We not only want a piece of the pie, we also want to choose the eavor, and to know how to make it ourselves. (Ela Bhatt, founder, Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), 1992)
Article
We provide a formal model of entrepreneurship in human development. The framework is provided by the capabilities approach (CA). Hence we extend not only the conceptualisation of entrepreneurship in development, but the reach of the CA into entrepreneurship. From a CA view, entrepreneurship is not only a production factor, or a means to an end, as is often taken to be the case by economists, but also an end in itself. Entrepreneurship can be a human functioning and can contribute towards expanding the set of human capabilities through being both a resource and a process. Our model shows, however, that entrepreneurship is not automatically a functioning. Where it is a necessity it stops being a valued functioning. The model also shows that even when entrepreneurship is valued, entrepreneurs may often not match their ideas with suitable opportunities. Policy implications are discussed.
Article
Neo-liberal economics is built upon the claim that the freedom to pursue one’s self-interest and rational choice leads to economic growth and development. Against this background neo-liberal economists and policymakers endeavoured to universalise this claim, and insistently argue that appropriate economic policies produce the same results regardless of cultural values. Accordingly, developing countries are often advised to embrace the neo-liberal economic credo for them to escape from the trap of underdevelopment. However, the economic success of South East Asia on the one hand and the failure of economic development in sub-Saharan Africa on the other, are increasingly proving that the ‹economic’ argument cannot be taken dogmatically: self-interest and rationality do not seem to be the sufficient explanations for economic development. One other avenue to be taken seriously is the link between cultural values and economic development. After viewing the principle of self-interest against its historico-cultural background, I consider this link in the African context, and argue that, although they cannot be taken as the sole factor, people’s cultural beliefs and values are crucial for economic development. Economic growth and development need to be a substantiation of a people’s beliefs and values. In African value system, this substantiation could lead to what one would call ‹ubuntu economy’ in which the state, the markets and the people are all agents, and not patients, in the process of economic growth and development.
Article
Incl. bibl. notes, index.
Women and Entrepreneurship : Contemporary ClasWomen in Management Review
  • A Bruin
  • De
Africa: The New Frontier for Growth
  • Accenture
The Contribution of African Women to Economic Growth and Development in Post-colonial Africa
  • E Akyeampong
  • H Fofack
Genre et gestion agricole en basse Casamance
  • C O Bâ