The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, it discusses the role of entrepreneurship, in general, and women entrepreneurship, in particular, in advancing the cause of sustainable development. Future research directions that emerge from the body of knowledge that the paper relied upon have been identified. Second, it presents unique cases of eight women-led enterprises in energy sector spread across three continents, namely, Asia, Africa and the USA; identifies the constraints and opportunities, analyses the business models and their impact on the quality of life pointers to demonstrate the role of women-led enterprises in sustainable development.
The paper combines a schematic review of literature at the interface of entrepreneurship and sustainable development coupled with select relevant case studies addressing the interface. The real-life case studies, which are consciously chosen and compiled from secondary data sources, complement and testify the insights drawn from the schematic literature review. The framework for analyzing the case studies is designed around multidimensional drivers and factors that steer the women-led enterprises.
The paper identified the need to look at entrepreneurship through the gendered lens not only for studying entrepreneurship as a discipline, in general, but also to gauge whether the inclusion of women as entrepreneurs is actually advancing the cause of sustainable development. Besides analyzing real-life case studies of accomplished women entrepreneurs to gauge their motivations and mindsets, the process of identification of pain points, identifying differentiating and innovative features, or studying the impact on society, economy and environment, the paper eventually created a schematic framework of key enablers, constraints and strategic response of women entrepreneurs.
Given the dearth of adequate theoretical and empirical contributions on the study of effectuation, mindsets and drivers of how women entrepreneurship steers the process of sustainable development, the paper is an endeavour in that direction.
The authors are thankful to the editors and reviewers for their valuable comments. They would also like to thank Ms Supritha Harishankar for assisting them during literature review. Usual disclaimer applies.
Mahajan, R. and Bandyopadhyay, K.R. (2021), "Women entrepreneurship and sustainable development: select case studies from the sustainable energy sector", Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 42-75. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEC-11-2020-0184
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