The purpose of this paper is to explore the motivations and key challenges women entrepreneurs experience in running small businesses in the Jaipur city of Rajasthan.
A purposive sample of 13 women entrepreneurs from a cross-section of enterprises is selected. A qualitative methodology based upon semi-structured, in-depth, exploratory interviews with female entrepreneurs is used which enables the respondents to give voice to their individual experiences.
The study reveals that pull factors including the urge for creativity, innovation, self-identity and independence, and to serve the society are the main motivations for female entrepreneurs to start their venture. From the institutional theory perspective, the challenges of female entrepreneurs originate mainly from informal institutions. A significant challenge is that their ability as a professional entrepreneur is not recognized and acknowledged by the society. Furthermore, the cultural norms reflected in the gender-specific role distribution result in the problem of work–life balance. The challenges emerging from the formal institutions do not appear to be pervasive and gender specific.
The unique contribution of the study is to provide evidences on the motivations and challenges of women entrepreneurs in Rajasthan based on qualitative data derived from in-depth interviews. Furthermore, the study is the first attempt to view the motivations and challenges of female entrepreneurs from an institutional perspective for India in general and Rajasthan in particular.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the Indian Council for Social Science Research, New Delhi, India for providing funding support for this study. The authors also acknowledge Ridhi Sudan Sharma for providing assistance in the data collection for the study.
Shastri, S., Shastri, S. and Pareek, A. (2019), "Motivations and challenges of women entrepreneurs: Experiences of small businesses in Jaipur city of Rajasthan", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 39 No. 5/6, pp. 338-355. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSSP-09-2018-0146
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