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Do micro and small business enterprises economically empower women in developing countries? Evidences from Mekelle city, Tigray, Ethiopia

Gidey Kidu Mezgebo (Mekelle University, Mekelle, Ethiopia)
Tesga Ymesel (Mekelle University, Mekelle, Ethiopia)
Girma Tegegne (Mekelle University, Mekelle, Ethiopia)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 14 August 2017




Today the number of women entrepreneurs is increasing. However, their power in use and control over the household and business-related resource are still limited. The purpose of this paper is to assess women’s economic empowerment in terms of their use and control over resources after participating in micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in Mekelle city.


A survey on 162 women-owned enterprises from two sectors, namely, manufacturing and service sectors belonging to three sub-cities of the study area was taken for this study. Questionnaire and interview data collection tools were employed, and the systematic random sampling technique was used to select respondents of questionnaires.


The results of the study revealed that MSEs in Mekelle city are found to have a profound effect on empowering women economically in terms of access to use and control of resources in business and at household, participation in social network and community undertakings. However, limited access to credit, high interest rate, complicated loan application procedures of bank, lack of work place, poor information and technology and basic infrastructure were still found the bottlenecks for women working in MSEs.

Research limitations/implications

MSEs are vital to empower women economically, but they should be accompanied by the improved and fast delivery of services such as credit, enabling work place and technology, which plays a decisive role in economic empowerment of women working in MSEs.


This paper fills the gap in the literature, as there is limited evidence on the role of MSEs in women’s economic empowerment and the challenges faced especially in developing countries in general and Mekelle city in particular.



Mezgebo, G.K., Ymesel, T. and Tegegne, G. (2017), "Do micro and small business enterprises economically empower women in developing countries? Evidences from Mekelle city, Tigray, Ethiopia", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 30 No. 5, pp. 767-778.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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