To read this content please select one of the options below:

Entrepreneurial mothers' behaviours on their business and family life: a case study in Sri Lanka

Thilakshi Kodagoda (Human Resources, University of Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka)
Ramanie Samaratunge (Department of Management, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)

South Asian Journal of Business Studies

ISSN: 2398-628X

Article publication date: 11 March 2022

Issue publication date: 21 November 2023




This study examines women entrepreneurs' understanding of motherhood and entrepreneurial career and how they negotiate this combination with their gendered understandings and social norms in Sri Lanka.


Data were collected using in-depth, semi-structured interviews from 20 entrepreneurial mothers in the Western Province of Sri Lanka. Sub-samples were taken to achieve demographic heterogeneity.


This study found that entrepreneurial mothers do not perceive their business as separate from their motherhood understanding. They believe that their profession is a part of motherhood responsibilities. This study also found that to negotiate a combination of roles, these mothers employed two coping strategies at different levels: family and business.

Research limitations/implications

As the sample size is small, an extended research strategy would be more effective. Future research could seek to identify strategies that women entrepreneurs use to balance their business–family life.

Practical implications

This research provides implications for balancing business and family life for women entrepreneurs.


The paper extends the cultural and geographical scope of the literature on women entrepreneurs' business–family life experiences.



The authors are very grateful to the Editor/Associate Editor and the two reviewers for giving them valuable and insightful comments.


Kodagoda, T. and Samaratunge, R. (2023), "Entrepreneurial mothers' behaviours on their business and family life: a case study in Sri Lanka", South Asian Journal of Business Studies, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 575-589.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles