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Public procurement and competitiveness of women-owned businesses: a structural equation model (SEM) for gender-responsive procurement in Uganda

Pross Nagitta Oluka (School of Management Science, Uganda Management Institute, Kampala, Uganda)
Michael Okoche (School of Management Science, Uganda Management Institute, Kampala, Uganda) (School of Business and Management, Uganda Technology and Management University, Kampala, Uganda)
Godfrey Mugurusi (Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management in Gjøvik, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway)

World Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development

ISSN: 2042-5961

Article publication date: 1 July 2020

Issue publication date: 29 April 2021

438

Abstract

Purpose

Several intergovernmental organizations claim that the involvement of women in public procurement has a direct impact on sustainable development and growth, especially in the developing world, yet we know very little of such claim. This study aims to empirically examine how public procurement can contribute to women empowerment by boosting the competitiveness of women-owned businesses (WOBs) in Uganda.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, a cross-sectional survey method is used. Quantitative data were gathered from a sample of 371 respondents in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and a section of women entrepreneurs in Uganda's capital Kampala. From the literature review, six hypotheses were formulated and tested using structural equation modelling (SEM). A research model is developed and presented.

Findings

All hypotheses, except for one, were supported. Procurement policy had a significant influence on evaluation criteria, contract management and most importantly, on the competitiveness of WOBs. Within the procurement process, evaluation criteria had a significant influence on the competitiveness of WOBs, while the influence of contract management on competitiveness of WOBs was not statistically significant. We, therefore, concluded that public procurement can indeed enhance women empowerment through a gender-responsive procurement policy. Above all, pre-contract award interventions such as streamlining evaluation criteria to ease access of WOBs to public procurement contracts seem have the most significant impact to competitiveness of WOBs compared to post-ward interventions during contract management.

Originality/value

This study offers a research-based model that articulates the role of procurement policy as an enabler for competitiveness of WOBs in developing countries. The model proposes a combination of both policy (a direct influence) and interventions in the supplier selection process (an indirect influence) to boost the competitiveness of WOBs.

Keywords

Citation

Oluka, P.N., Okoche, M. and Mugurusi, G. (2021), "Public procurement and competitiveness of women-owned businesses: a structural equation model (SEM) for gender-responsive procurement in Uganda", World Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 209-226. https://doi.org/10.1108/WJEMSD-02-2020-0014

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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