The Emerald Handbook of Women and Entrepreneurship in Developing Economies
Table of contents(22 chapters)
Part 1 Conceptual Understanding of Woman Entrepreneurship in Developing Economies
Women Entrepreneurship has received increasing attention over the past decade. In particular, a new area dealing with women entrepreneurs in the developing societies. The aim of this study is how is women entrepreneurship in developing economies? More specifically, we are excavating various questions at the individual and institutional level. The results of this study contribute to understanding the importance of the context on women entrepreneurs’ activities. Additionally, it systematically provides a comprehensive framework at multilevel analyses to cover all aspects of women entrepreneurship in developing countries. Ultimately, knowing women entrepreneurship in developing countries helps policymakers provide a firm ground for self-employment of women.
Encouraging innovation in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is one of the government's main policy initiatives at the local, regional, and national levels in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This study's primary purpose is to explore the innovation characteristics, challenges, and factors influencing innovation in the Emirati female-owned nascent, start-up, and established SMEs. A semi-structured interview method was used to explore ten Emirati female entrepreneurs' experiences on innovation and adoption intent, and the data were analyzed using NVIVO software. The analysis reveals that respondents believed in a strong vision, education, and risk-taking attitude as an innovative entrepreneur's essential characteristics. Furthermore, new technology adoption, networking, implementation of new or improved products, processes, marketing, and organizational innovation are considered essential to help entrepreneurs commercialize their innovative business idea. This study's findings will help policymakers and business women's councils identify the specific inhibitors and facilitators linked to innovation. The results will help develop various effective policies to promote innovation among Emirati women-owned SMEs.
Women entrepreneurship is designated as the new engines of economic growth in developing countries. Prior research shows how men and women differ in starting a business, with women normally facing more restrictions on entrepreneurial financing, entrepreneurial growth, and entrepreneurial performance. This has often been explained by gender role, yet we still lack a systematic understanding of how gender roles impact on women's entrepreneurial process in developing countries. In this chapter, we review literatures on female entrepreneurship in developing countries to show how gender role works in developing countries and especially its influence on the intention/entry/business participation and performance of female entrepreneurs.
We investigate the relationship between gender diversity on corporate boards and environmental performances of firms. Our central focus is the extent to which a country's economic status (developed, developing) can shape such a relationship. We find evidence that gender diversity is positively correlated to environmental performances of firms. Interestingly, this correlation is not only stronger in developing countries but also increasing in gender diversity. These findings have considerable importance in terms of policy.
Promotion of gender diversity in developing countries, where abatement costs are the lowest, would improve global environmental quality in a cost-effective way. This is best achieved through building institutions and strengthening them. The benefits of such policy go beyond developing countries frontiers, particularly when global environmental problems (pollution, global warming, ozone layer depletion, loss of biodiversity, etc.) are concerned. These benefits can be a leverage for an efficient implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs) both as gender diversity stands as a goal by itself and also because it facilitates achieving other environmental-related SDGs.
Part 2 Institutions, History, Culture as Catalysator or Blockage for Woman Entrepreneurship
The aim of this chapter is to provide an overview of female entrepreneurship in Latin American countries and to show how the environment, through formal and especially informal institutions, influences the characteristics of the business and to some extent limits the exploitation of opportunities by women. Entrepreneurship addressed in the text consists of initiatives characterized by creativity, risks, use of available resources, and the ability to generate wealth and change economic and social contexts, especially at the micro level. The literature review showed how informal institutions, impregnated by patriarchal and macho culture, shape and determine gender relations in the world of work in the region, especially in business activities conducted by women. Although the cases presented cannot be generalized to all Latin American countries, they provide a small sample of the obstacles, challenges, and limitations imposed on female entrepreneurs by the social structure and its repeated practices consolidated in Latin American society.
This chapter defines the role of women entrepreneurship in developing countries in general with more emphasis on Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. It also introduces trends and challenges faced by women entrepreneurs, incentives to start their own businesses, the support mechanism provided for them, the common conditions for women entrepreneurship, and profile of women entrepreneurs in the GCC and Kuwait. The chapter also covers the impacts of Covid-19 crisis on entrepreneurship (small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)) along with the country policy responses to mitigate these impacts and ends with sharing useful recommendations on what needs to be taken into consideration in the future for the development of women entrepreneurship in general and more specifically within GCC countries and Kuwait.
This chapter uses the entrepreneurial experiences of women entrepreneurs in urban China as an empirical case to discuss contextual influences on women's everyday entrepreneurial experience in developing countries. Based on thematic analysis of women's own accounts of their entrepreneurial experiences, four contextual influences emerged: (1) preentrepreneurial work experience, (2) national entrepreneurial development, (3) cultural values, and (4) gendered work ideology. These influences shaped and were shaped by women's entrepreneurial identities, decisions, and actions in situated contexts. To further understand women's negotiations with these influences in developing countries, future research are called for to investigate how women resist dominant structures to carve out entrepreneurial agencies and enact resiliency to build sustainable businesses.
Interest in the role and behavior of women entrepreneurs has increased in the last decades. This research study examines personal characteristics and labor and business regulations on entrepreneurship and corporate entrepreneurship. It also analyzes how gender differed in these forms of entrepreneurship across Latin American countries. We performed logistic regressions to different models with information from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) from 2016. We used a sample from 10 countries. We also used information from the Heritage Foundation and The World Bank. The results show that antecedents of entrepreneurship activity differ by gender. Specifically, the effect is different when analyzing labor regulations. We also find different intensities depending on gender. The study contributes to the literature about gender and different forms of entrepreneurship. We suggest developing policies in favor of women's entrepreneurial activity within the workplace and as independent entrepreneurs.
This research aims to reveal the challenges faced by female entrepreneurs in Kosovo, emphasizing the challenge of work–life balance (WLB). As deliberated by many authors, concerning the term work–life balance, it is defined as the opportunity of balancing between personal life on the one hand and work on the other. The three research questions of this chapter were: do women entrepreneurs face difficulties on work–life balancing? do they involve other family members in business operations in order to help work–life balancing? and is their marital status a factor on WLB? This issue is more or less studied in the context of Kosovo. This is the reason why this research is conducted in Kosovo, with the sample of 24 female entrepreneurs. 21 questions of interviews are designed accordingly to the three research questions. The findings indicated that the majority of female entrepreneurs face difficulties on work–life balancing, but to overcome this challenge, they engage their family members on business activities and also, women who are married, especially those with more than one child have more difficulties on this aspect than those unmarried.
Fulfilling the gaps relied by previous studies and recommendations to female entrepreneurs in terms of better management of life and work simultaneously, it is considered the greatest contribution of this investigation.
Institutional changes, in a historical context, through simultaneous evolutionary and metamorphic processes either deform or reform long-enduring institutions. The chapter delves into the Persian history from the early days of the reign of Nāṣer al-Dīn Shāh-e Qājār in 1848 to the recent years and traces Persian institutions' historical transformations, which culminated to the Persian women entrepreneurship. Thus, the chapter first sets the historical context in each period and then sheds light on the pivotal issues of each period's women. The undergirding base of the discussions is the assumption of the change in institutions as natural metamorphosis in the animate. Finally, the discussions contribute to the conceptualization of the Institutional Triangulation and in the case of Persia, a cultural-driven triangulation, which has paved the way to the formation of a stupendously hegemonic patriarchal and masculine sociopolitical economy in Persia, that has historically affected women's institutionalization, subjugation, subordination, marginalization, socialization, emancipation, and most recently Islamization phases.
In 2019, Brazil had approximately 53.4 million entrepreneurs, of which 60.2% were start-ups. The contingent of nascent entrepreneurs was 11.1 million people and in just one year it grew 390%, a fact that can be explained, on the one hand, by the beginning of the economic recovery of the country which, although timid, began arousing with the gross domestic product closing the year 2019 with growth of 1.1%, and on the other hand, by the slow cooling of the national unemployment rate that reached 11.0% in the last quarter of 2019 (IBGE, 2019). Women have been occupying an important space in the country's entrepreneurial activities, with an initial specific rate of entrepreneurship (total early-stage entrepreneurial activity (TEA)) of 23.1%, similar to that of men, and established specific rates of entrepreneurship (total establishing entrepreneurial activity (TEE)) of 13.9% (GEM, 2019). Despite the enthusiasm brought by the numbers, it is necessary to pay attention to what are the entrepreneurial activities performed by these women, since in a country like Brazil, transformations brought by innovative thoughts, technological development, and expansion of education are not privileges of the entire population. Besides the differences between genders, even among women, the impact of changes in society occurs in different ways, and the “pure” concept of entrepreneurship, associated with innovation and the creation of new products and services, is valid for only a portion of them, leaving to others the broader concept related to creativity, risk, use of available resources, and economic sustainability in a context where individual characteristics and unfavorable structural conditions are intertwined (Haas, 2013). In this sense, the objective of this work is to present the national reality of female entrepreneurship, contributing with the understanding of who are the Brazilian women entrepreneurs that correspond to these “pure” and broad concepts and, therefore, shed light on new studies and research that can contribute with more accurate diagnoses about these women.
The main purpose of this chapter is to analyze the women entrepreneurhip status in Afghanistan. The study comprises and analyzes three levels, namely, individual, societal, and institutional. All zones in Afghanistan are covered under this study. A total number of 104 women entrepreneurs are interviewed and filled out questionnaires. To ensure the appropriateness of data and accuracy of the model the authors used the required test. Reliability statistics, KMO and Bartlett's Test of Sphericity, and goodness of fit tests are applied. Factor analysis and structural equation modeling are used as econometric models to obtain the results. Two processes are applied, i.e., for motivational and psychological factors. Motivational factors and psychological factors are the latent variables where every latent variable has four and three observed variables, respectively. Factor loadings for observed variables were well above 0.5 and hence significant. The results show desire for achievement, desire for wealth, and desire for independence are motivational factors for women entrepreneurs. Furthermore, propensity to risk and locus of control are found to be the psychological drivers for women entrepreneurship in Afghanistan. The Government of Afghanistan needs to provide an environment for women entrepreneurs where they feel safe and undisturbed. Additionally, education, technical know-how, and financial support require serious government and institutional attention.
Despite the expansion of women's entrepreneurial activities and its positive effects on the economic development of societies, women still face numerous difficulties in starting and running a business compared to men, especially in developing countries because of gender discrimination in the field. The cultural context in societies is a significant factor affecting the status of entrepreneurship among the Iranian women. Therefore, the present research is an attempt to identify the challenges affecting entrepreneurship among Iranian women. The results obtained from 30 semi-structured interviews with women entrepreneurs and women with entrepreneurial roles showed that sociocultural challenges faced by women entrepreneurs are classified into: “the society's perception of entrepreneurship among women,” “women's social security,” and “common family norms governing a society.”
This chapter addresses the impact of gendered social capital in developing countries to understand the barriers and opportunities to women's entrepreneurship with social capital development and also to examine factors influencing the development of social capital for women and how the identified factors benefit the creation of their entrepreneurial activities. This study follows a systemic literature review to achieve the purpose of the research by examining the selected articles in both English and Turkish, followed by factor comparison between developing, developed countries, and world datasets obtained from Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) database. The finding shows that social capital strongly impacts the entrepreneurial activities among women entrepreneurs in developing countries, especially in Turkey. Although the academic and practical studies on this field were started about two decades ago in Turkey, it has faced a radical increase in last 5 years and many practitioners and scholars working on these concepts. The clusters in English and Turkish resources are almost the same; however, the density and number of key terms are much lower in Turkish literature which shows a gap for Turkish researchers to publish more in this field to examine variables for better view about women entrepreneurship and social capital related to it.
Part 3 Entrepreneurial Ecosystem and Female Digital Entrepreneurship
Recent studies conducted in Europe and in the Middle East found growing interest of young entrepreneurs in using social media as a venue for business activities. The Digital Natives (DNs), young people who cannot recall their lives without the Internet and digital devices, are thought to be the most entrepreneurial generation so far.
In this chapter, the authors take a closer look at the role of gender in entrepreneurship and provide more insights for effective policy-shaping with the DNs in mind.
This study adopts a quantitative approach to compare the entrepreneurial mindset (EM) of DNs from two frontier markets, Serbia, and Kuwait and examines the gender differences in entrepreneurial intention (EI) and entrepreneurial capacity.
The study shows that female respondents demonstrate a positive attitude toward using social media for entrepreneurial activities. Although technology drives EI, female DNs should receive more guidance and encouragement to feel more confident to start a business. Extending previous studies, the authors discuss the prominent role of social approvals and expert guidance in driving the EM.
The Iranian entrepreneurial ecosystem has grown dramatically during the past decade. Several improvements have been made at different levels, and, therefore, one could witness its unique achievements. Digital entrepreneurs are an integral part of this ecosystem, as most of the early achievements are the results of their proactive behaviors. Hopefully, the number of female digital entrepreneurs has increased, and their entrepreneurial activities have profoundly changed the competition scene. Therefore, this chapter provides a better understanding of the multilayered entrepreneurial ecosystem of Iran and then elaborates how female entrepreneurs are positioned in this ecosystem. Moreover, six well-known award-winning female digital entrepreneurs are introduced, and their challenges are scrutinized accordingly through narrative research. Finally, the chapter concludes with some remarks and directions for future research.
The ability to develop and maintain an effective network is an entrepreneurial competency. There are differences in female social networks' features as well as in the way of expanding it comparing to men's. But, there is little attention to female entrepreneurs' networks. This chapter focuses on the dynamics of female entrepreneurs' networks at different stages of the business life cycle. A qualitative study was conducted on a sample of Iranian female entrepreneurs in the trade sector situated in Tehran. The results of data analysis of 10 semi-structured interviews show a considerable change in networking activity over time. Although the most important role of networking for women entrepreneurs in both early-stage and established businesses is to achieve opportunities, information, and resources. Also, the combination of female entrepreneurs' networks is most male-dominated. And the main challenge of networking in the early-stage is being female, while it becomes rather an advantage for established ones. Finally, Iranian female entrepreneurs become more aware of networking benefits over time.
Part 4 Early-stage Female Entrepreneurship, Drivers, and Outcomes
This study aims to investigate the effect of the crisis on entrepreneurial activities and how it can be relieved. Specifically, we explore how the positive effects of the human capital (self-confidence, opportunity alertness, and risk willingness) on startup activities are changed after the global financial crisis. Additionally, we explore how knowing an entrepreneur boosts up these relationships. We applied data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) about prospective women entrepreneurs in China in 2006–2007 (precrisis time) and 2009–2010 (postcrisis time). Results show a sharp drop in effect size of self-confidence and opportunity recognition upon women's entrepreneurial actions; however, the global financial crisis nullified the effect of fear of failure on potential women entrepreneurs' business activities. Furthermore, knowing an entrepreneur has no significant moderating effect. Theoretical and practical implications and directions for future research are discussed.
The current research investigates the regional differences in benefiting from innovation toward growth ambitions in a sample of female entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Nordic region. A sample of 4,048 early-stage female entrepreneurs from these two regions who were participated in annual surveys of Global Entrepreneurship Monitor was selected for further analysis. The results of data analysis using hierarchical linear modeling (mixed models) revealed that innovation benefits growth ambitions of early-stage female entrepreneurs. Further, the regional differences affect the benefit of innovation in shaping growth ambitions, so that, in Nordic region, the early-stage female entrepreneurs expect more growth out of their innovation as compared with their counterparts in MENA region. These results have been discussed regarding to existing literature, and future research directions have been suggested based on the results.
Women entrepreneurs are considered here as a backbone of economic growth and development. This research is conducted to explain the role of microfinance banks in women's financial, socioeconomic, and political empowerment. The sample was gathered from the customers of microfinance banks operating in the specific areas of Sukkur, Pano Aqil, and Khairpur districts of Sindh province. Women perception about the microfinance bank was found to be positive as they give positive feedback about the banks. According to the findings, limited knowledge about business and financial matters make it highly challenging for women entrepreneurs to start and run business smoothly. However, most of the women are living separate with their husbands, and due to more children, women enjoy freedom of mobility.
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