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Article
Publication date: 24 January 2022

Malin Tillmar, Birgitta Sköld, Helene Ahl, Karin Berglund and Katarina Pettersson

The purpose of this paper is to explore and discuss to what extent and why women's entrepreneurship contributes to rural economic viability and gender equality in an…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore and discuss to what extent and why women's entrepreneurship contributes to rural economic viability and gender equality in an advanced welfare state.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use detailed register data to explore men's and women's rural businesses in the most common industries for rural women entrepreneurs in the Swedish welfare state. Based on a literature review, the authors develop hypotheses and analyse how family, business and industry factors influence earnings.

Findings

Women's rural entrepreneurship is important for rural viability, as women's businesses provide a wide range of services necessary for life in rural areas. Although women's rural businesses are not significantly smaller than those of men, women's income is lower and more sensitive to business and industry variables. Marriage has positive effects for the earnings of men but negative effects for the earnings of women. The authors argue that the results are contingent on the gendering of entrepreneurship and industries, as well as on the local rural gender contracts. For these reasons, the importance of women entrepreneurs for rural viability is not reflected in their own incomes. Hence, women's rural entrepreneurship does not result in (economic) gender equality.

Originality/value

Entrepreneurship scholars rarely explore women's rural entrepreneurship, and particularly not in the Global North or Western welfare states. Therefore, this empirical study from Sweden provides novel information on how the gender order on the business, industry and family levels influences the income of men and women entrepreneurs differently.

Details

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-6266

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 September 2017

Colette Henry, Barbara Orser, Susan Coleman and Lene Foss

Government attention to women’s entrepreneurship has increased in the past two decades; however, there are few cross-cultural studies to inform policy development. This…

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Abstract

Purpose

Government attention to women’s entrepreneurship has increased in the past two decades; however, there are few cross-cultural studies to inform policy development. This paper aims to draw on gender and institutional theory to report on the status of female-focused small and medium-sized enterprises/entrepreneurship policies and to ask how – and to what extent – do women’s entrepreneurship policies differ among countries?

Design/methodology/approach

A common methodological approach is used to identify gaps in the policy-practice nexus.

Findings

The study highlights countries where policy is weak but practice is strong, and vice versa.

Research limitations/implications

The study’s data were restricted to policy documents and observations of practices and initiatives on the ground.

Practical implications

The findings have implications for policy makers in respect of support for women’s entrepreneurship. Recommendations for future research are advanced.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to extant knowledge and understanding about entrepreneurship policy, specifically in relation to women’s entrepreneurship. It is also one of the few studies to use a common methodological approach to explore and compare women’s entrepreneurship policies in 13 countries.

Details

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-6266

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 February 2020

Bengu Kurtege Sefer

The purpose of this paper is to offer a new gender- and class-sensitive framework for research on rural women entrepreneurship by focusing on the women’s agricultural…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to offer a new gender- and class-sensitive framework for research on rural women entrepreneurship by focusing on the women’s agricultural cooperatives in Turkey. Although these cooperatives have been promoted as ideal bottom-to-top organizations to integrate women into economy as entrepreneurs, there has been significant decline in their numbers. This paper tackles with this contradictory situation and intends to offer an alternative research framework on the viability of the women’s agricultural cooperatives in Turkey.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is built on a critical assessment of the existing literature. It argues that a framework that brings together macro-, meso- and micro-factors will provide a springboard to unfold the gendered processes integral to rural female entrepreneurship in Turkey. Drawing on intersectional theory, the multilayered factors which operate to rural women’s (dis)advantages through the cooperatives are unfolded as policymaking, policy implementation and everyday experiences.

Findings

For policymakers and implementers, it points out the need for a holistic and integrated understanding of rural female entrepreneurship and for re-formulation of policies at the state level. For rural women, it draws attention to the measures required to be taken at the cooperative level to overcome inequalities.

Originality/value

This paper is original in making explicit social, political and economic embeddedness of female entrepreneurship in rural Turkey.

Details

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-6266

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 December 2020

Dina Modestus Nziku and Colette Henry

While the topic of women's entrepreneurship continues to grow in academic appeal, the policy aspect is one that has received limited scholarly attention, especially in the…

Abstract

Purpose

While the topic of women's entrepreneurship continues to grow in academic appeal, the policy aspect is one that has received limited scholarly attention, especially in the context of developing countries. To address this gap in scholarship, the purpose of this paper aims to critically explore women's entrepreneurship policy in Tanzania. The research question asks: How are policies designed to encourage and support entrepreneurship in Tanzania gendered, and how might such policies be (re)designed so that they are more relevant to women entrepreneurs in the Tanzanian context? The authors contribute to extant scholarship by: drawing attention to the particular context for women's entrepreneurship in Tanzania; identifying gender biases inherent in current entrepreneurship policies; offering some recommendations for policymakers and identifying areas worthy of future research attention in this area.

Design/methodology/approach

The study builds on the Global Women's Enterprise Policy project. The authors apply an adapted reading guide technique to analyse and critique relevant entrepreneurship policy documents in Tanzania. The reading guide examines the category and type of document being analysed, key themes, content, language and imagery, as well as the key policy recommendations being offered and their relevance to women's entrepreneurship in Tanzania and the wider sub-Saharan African region. Completed reading guide templates are then coded and collated into an excel spreadsheet. Findings are discussed and critiqued within a regulative, normative and cultural-cognitive framework.

Findings

The study provides rich and valuable insights into the unique context for women's entrepreneurship in Tanzania, shedding new light on how women's entrepreneurship is supported in a particular region of sub-Saharan Africa. Findings reveal that while current policy acknowledges the important role women play in their communities, especially in terms of their contribution to labour, it is geared more towards small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) development than entrepreneurship; this is despite the fact that entrepreneurship is identified as a means to address sustainable development challenges (notably unemployment and poverty) and expand opportunities for socially disadvantaged groups, especially women. Existing policy is essentially “context neutral” and hence relatively ineffective; the gender focus is lacking and there is a failure to take account of the specific context in which Tanzanian women entrepreneurs have to operate. The authors argue for policies designed to support women's entrepreneurship to be formalised and contextualised in their specific geographical and cultural setting. The “institutional pillars” framework allows us to identify areas where contextualisation of women's entrepreneurship policies could be enhanced.

Practical implications

The study implies that, to be effective, policies designed to support women's entrepreneurship need to be formalised and contextualised to their specific geographical and cultural setting. Some areas where this might be achieved are identified. Avenues for future research in this area are also suggested.

Originality/value

The value of the paper lies in its focus on Tanzania, and its critique of existing policies from a gender and institutional perspective. It also enhances understanding of the unique context in Tanzania for entrepreneurship.

Details

Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2045-2101

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 March 2012

Katarina Pettersson

The purpose of this paper is to analyse national state support programmes for women's entrepreneurship, in the Nordic countries, from a gender perspective.

2388

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse national state support programmes for women's entrepreneurship, in the Nordic countries, from a gender perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

From an analytical gender perspective based on a combination of Mayoux's framework of paradigms in support of women's entrepreneurship, Rees' approach to gender equality and Bacchi's analysis of what the problem is represented to be, the author performs a systematic comparative analysis of the varying policy goals, underlying paradigms and approaches in state support programmes for women's entrepreneurship in the Nordic countries.

Findings

The author concludes that all Nordic countries, with the exception of Iceland, have a programme or an action plan to support women's entrepreneurship, but vary in their underlying paradigms and rationales. The author places Norway at one end of the spectrum because its policy programme is most clearly influenced by a feminist empowerment paradigm intended to transform and/or tailor the existing support system through various measures. At the other end of the spectrum is Denmark, which most clearly focuses on economic growth in line with a neo‐liberal paradigm. Between these extremes, are Sweden, Finland and Iceland. The analysis reveals that state support programmes, in the name of supporting women entrepreneurs, tend to put women in a subordinate position to men and thereby risk sustaining a male norm.

Originality/value

The paper contributes a much‐needed systematic comparative analysis of support for women's entrepreneurship in the Nordic countries. This analysis is important in order to further the discussion of how policy actors can refrain from putting women in a secondary position to men, and thus avoid sustaining a male norm in entrepreneurship support.

Details

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-6266

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 August 2013

Saurav Pathak, Sonia Goltz and Mari W. Buche

Research and theory indicate that macro-level variables can influence the effects of individual-level factors on the economic behavior of women; however, this has rarely…

2240

Abstract

Purpose

Research and theory indicate that macro-level variables can influence the effects of individual-level factors on the economic behavior of women; however, this has rarely been examined with regard to women ' s entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship has thus far been examined from a gender-neutral perspective. The purpose of this paper is to address this gap by deriving predictions using a sociological model of gender stratification and examining the effects of gendered institutions on women ' s entrepreneurship.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) dataset comprising over 40,000 individuals across 30 countries combined with data from the Global Gender Gap Index (GGGI), the authors examined the direct as well as cross-level moderation effects of gendered institutions on the probability of women entering into entrepreneurship.

Findings

Results indicated that gendered institutions moderate effects of individual variables on the entrepreneurship of women, suggesting that in theory and research, individual factors affecting women ' s entrepreneurship should be considered within the larger cultural context.

Research limitations/implications

The findings provide additional evidence for the gender stratification theory of women ' s economic activity. Future research should examine alternative operationalizations of the variables, as well as effects of additional gendered institutions.

Practical implications

Results suggest that changes may be needed in entrepreneurship development policies in countries with cultural values creating barriers for women ' s entrepreneurship.

Originality/value

This multi-level analysis is derived from a theoretical framework and helps account for the rates of entrepreneurial activity found among women across many countries.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, vol. 19 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 March 2015

Banu Özkazanç-Pan

This paper aims to highlight secular and Islamic feminist approaches to entrepreneurship as potential means to challenge gender inequality in the Turkish context. In…

2513

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to highlight secular and Islamic feminist approaches to entrepreneurship as potential means to challenge gender inequality in the Turkish context. In Turkey, gender equality remains elusive in a nation where secular and Islamic ideologies compete and produce different solutions to ongoing economic, socio-cultural and political issues. Women’s entrepreneurship has emerged as an important solution toward gender equality and economic development.

Design/methodology/approach

Using two women’s organizations that exemplify secular and Islamic feminist ideologies, the author examines whether the entrepreneurship activities they promote give way to challenging patriarchal norms, values and practices widespread in Turkish society.

Findings

Through their distinct practices and engagement with entrepreneurship, both secular and Islamic feminist positions allow for praxis and represent an ethico-political commitment to dismantling neo-liberal development ideologies in the Turkish context that perpetuate gender inequality.

Social implications

Secular and Islamic feminist practices and entrepreneurship practices have different implications for achieving gender equality including changes in gender norms, economic development policies and women’s empowerment in a Muslim-majority country. In addition, it raises questions around the popular notion of “entrepreneurship as women’s empowerment”.

Originality/value

This paper is of value to scholars who want to understand secular and Islamic feminisms and their implications for challenging gender inequality. The Turkish context with its traditional and modern societal norms and values provides a rich case study to examine these issues through the exemplars of entrepreneurship. It is also of value to scholars who want to understand structural constraints associated with gender equality beyond individual-level challenges.

Details

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-6266

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 16 June 2021

Meisam Modarresi and Zahra Arasti

Despite the expansion of women's entrepreneurial activities and its positive effects on the economic development of societies, women still face numerous difficulties in…

Abstract

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.”

Details

The Emerald Handbook of Women and Entrepreneurship in Developing Economies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-327-7

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 November 2021

Mohamed A. Semkunde, Tumsifu Elly, Goodluck Charles, Johan Gaddefors and Linley Chiwona-Karltun

This study aims to examine how women's groups help women to navigate context-related barriers to their engagement in rural entrepreneurship. The paper combines the…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine how women's groups help women to navigate context-related barriers to their engagement in rural entrepreneurship. The paper combines the contextualisation of entrepreneurship framework and the feminist separatist theory to describe how women's groups in patriarchal rural communities enable women to circumvent context-related barriers and actively engage in rural entrepreneurship.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a case study of 12 women's groups engaged in paddy farming, rice processing and marketing in rural Tanzania, this study draws on semi-structured interviews with 46 women, four focus group discussions, four in-depth key informant interviews and non-participant observation.

Findings

Rural women face unique context-related challenges that hinder them from effectively participating in rural entrepreneurship. Specifically, limited access to farmlands and profitable markets, lack of business networks, limited time, poverty and insufficient financial resources constrain women's engagement in entrepreneurship. To overcome these contextual barriers, rural women have organised themselves into groups to gain access to business services, business-related training, grants and business networks.

Research limitations/implications

This study contributes to the existing literature on contextualising entrepreneurship by focussing on how rural contexts may constrain women's entrepreneurial engagement while showing how women respond to contextual barriers that enable them to participate in rural entrepreneurship.

Practical implications

This study shows that women with low education can pursue rural entrepreneurship if they are supported through training and access to networks. This will support the performance of these groups of women.

Originality/value

This study offers new insights into the role of women's groups in navigating gender-related constraints that hinder women from participating in rural entrepreneurship within the patriarchal context of low-income countries. Thus, new perceptions for the gender and rural entrepreneurship theory and the policy implications thereof are proffered.

Details

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-6266

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 May 2021

Alistair Anderson and Funmi Ojediran

The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on women’s entrepreneurship in emerging economies. This is a thematic review to identify patterns and trends to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on women’s entrepreneurship in emerging economies. This is a thematic review to identify patterns and trends to better understand this literature. From the analysis, this study offers ideas for useful and theoretically informed research. In addition, this paper proposes the concept of restricted agency that helps to explain the practice.

Design/methodology/approach

This study identifies the nature, what is interesting, what it sees as important and considers what is neglected in this literature. The analysis sought important issues, interesting directions and the potential for useful future work. Thematic analysis is ideal for messy and unstructured material such as the literature used in this study as the data set. The process is qualitative, iterative and inductive but ontologically appropriate for the socially produced knowledge of the literature.

Findings

This paper finds the literature tends towards descriptive papers. Few papers make substantial contributions to theory. Many papers reported the barriers women to encounter, reporting general and typical processes of responding to obstacles and the implications for practice. Interestingly this study perceives overcoming and sometimes using, the cultural and physical restraints of gendered entrepreneurship. This paper proposes the concept of restricted agency explaining the gendering of entrepreneurs and explains what they can do. Moreover, the concept helps explain why and what. Most promising theoretically, is how the application of this agency is slowly and contextually differently changing the rules of the game.

Research limitations/implications

This study covers a large and extensive literature, so might have missed themes.

Originality/value

This paper starts with the notion of the “otherness” of women’s entrepreneurship. The literature is good at explaining both how and why women’s entrepreneurship is different and in effect, marginalised. This study conceptualises this gendering process as a restricted agency. Moreover, the concept helps explain why and what. Most promising theoretically, is how the application of this agency is slowly and contextually differently changing the rules of the game. It may be the mechanism for emancipation.

Details

Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2053-4604

Keywords

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