Individual and Environmental Factors Contributing to Women's Venture Success in Developing Countries: An Exploratory Analysis

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Juma, Norma
Gibbs, SherRhonda
Sequeira, Jennifer
Washburn University. School of Business
Kaw Valley Bank
Issue Date
February 2010
Alternative Title
Although the body of literature on women entrepreneurs is relatively small when compared to that of men, the majority of articles that have focused on women entrepreneurs and issues surrounding them have focused on women in developed countries. Few studies place emphasis on women entrepreneurs in developing countries. This paper explores the relationship between individual entrepreneurial characteristics, the entrepreneurial environment and women's business success in developing countries. Barriers to entrepreneurship and venture success such as prohibitive cultural norms and values, limited property rights, and lack of government support are among the various obstacles that women face. We use a sample of 403 women entrepreneurs from six developing countries: Argentina, Brazil, Hungary, India, Mexico, and South Africa. We focus on these countries because they represent distinct regions and diverse cultures. This paper blends country level data from the Index of Economic Freedom and the World Bank and individual level data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor to explore the business environments of these developing countries and their possible relationship with business success. We also look at the barriers that may exist for women business owners in these countries and explore their relationship with business success. Initial results indicate that certain individual factors (i.e. knowing an entrepreneur, household income), entrepreneurial environment, financial and governmental barriers all play a role in venture success for women entrepreneurs in developing countries.