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Performance and financing strategies of female and male entrepreneurs in the Republic of Serbia

Danijela Stošic Panić (Faculty of Economics, University of Niš, Niš, Republic of Serbia)

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship

ISSN: 1756-6266

Article publication date: 12 June 2017




The paper examines gender differences in the performance and financing strategies of female and male entrepreneurs in the Republic of Serbia. The aim of this study is to explore the gender dimension – a much under-researched aspect of entrepreneurship in the Republic of Serbia – and to link the findings with those of other environments.


To explore gender-based differences in entrepreneurial activity, a random sample of 327 units was drawn from the Serbian Business Registers Agency’s Register of Companies. In total, 101 completed questionnaires were received. The chi-square test of association was used to assess the relationship between two categorical variables, while the non-parametric Mann–Whitney U test was used to assess the statistical importance of the differences between groups of female and male entrepreneurs. The relationship between the performance and different sources of financing was assessed by multiple regression analysis.


The results confirm the existence of a gender gap in the net profit, employment growth rate, return on assets (ROA) and in use of various types of alternative financing sources. The evidence shows that those male entrepreneurs who use personal funds achieve lower levels of net profit and ROA compared to those who use internal business sources. Lower ROA is also achieved by those male entrepreneurs who use alternative sources of financing, relative to those who do not use these sources. Female entrepreneurs who applied for bank loans realized higher net profit value compared to those who did not apply for a loan. Moreover, female entrepreneurs who use some kind of state-supported funding achieve higher ROA than those who do not. Other gender differences found regarding the various aspects of the financing practices lacked statistical significance.


Although the generalizability of part of the findings is weakened due to the lack of statistical significance, most of the expected gender differences were found to exist at the sample level. This encourages further studies of similarities and differences between female and male entrepreneurs’ financing strategies and their impact on business performance. This is particularly important for the environments in which the gender aspect of entrepreneurial activity is under-researched.



Stošic Panić, D. (2017), "Performance and financing strategies of female and male entrepreneurs in the Republic of Serbia", International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 136-156.



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