UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI SCHOOL OF BUSINESS MASTERS OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION Group Assignment: In Partial fulfillment of the requirements in the course

Entrepreneurship. Topic: GENDER AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP: ISSUES AND POLICIES Lecturer: Jackson Maalu Submitted by: WALEKHWA P NAKU D61/75508/09

Date: 18th august 2010

The creation of subsets that distinguish one set of characteristics from others has long been a defining factor replicated in all fields of academia so as to assert the uniqueness of these entities. Use of the term gender is not unique to this. Gender can be defined as the social, economic and cultural roles and relations between women and men; taking into account the different responsibilities of women and men in a given culture or location and in different population groups (children, aged people, ethnic groups etc.). Encompassed in this definition is the fundamental assertion of sexuality as based on the roles each of these sexes partakes in within the tenets of social conformity.

technology and information to establish and grow their businesses. that women and men are socialized differently and as a result have different orientations. national incentives in small enterprise development through gender blind private sector development and fiscal policies. fist. rather than the traditional local markets. women usually have a heavy domestic workload that is unpaid. occupation and organizational structure differently affect female and male business owners. leaving them less time to expand their small businesses. matrimonial and inheritance laws and/or cultural practices. Factors which are said to explain these differences include. Although women have been included in a number of studies on entrepreneurship in recent years. They may not then realize the market potential or profitable adjustments they could make in outside markets. limited mobility. on the essentialism in the very construction of the category of the female entrepreneur and. These factors. combined with social exclusion based on sex connotes that women entrepreneurs are in a less favorable position in comparison to men when it comes to accessing for example commercial credit from formal financial service providers. and an unequal share of family and household responsibilities.Encumbering the optimum growth of entrepreneurship is the challenge women entrepreneurs’ face. Gender-based differences between male and female entrepreneurs There are some generalized differences that exist regarding men’s and women’s businesses. and more often cite child-rearing demands and career dissatisfaction as reasons for business formation. more lucrative markets. GENDER AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP: THE PAST Often women face particular constraints in developing their entrepreneurial activities. second. voice and representation. that women face certain . there has however been little focus on challenging traditional definitions of entrepreneurship or on developing new methods to collect information on entrepreneurship. Existing knowledge on women and entrepreneurship could be enhanced through reflection on two issues: first. Women are less preoccupied than men with economic gain. Numerous gender-based barriers are experienced when starting and growing businesses and such include discriminatory property. Yet another constraint is that in some regions women’s mobility is constrained. legislation and training and education for small enterprise development. second. on the ways in which the connections between gender.

individualism.  Domestic businesswomen do not uphold entrepreneurship ideals but committed to conventional gender roles.  Radical proprietors have low commitment to both entrepreneurship ideals and to conventional gender roles. these women accept the fact they have to work long hours in order to be able to fulfill both their domestic and entrepreneurial roles.structural barriers. innovative.  The focus on socialization as an explanation for differences between female and male entrepreneurs and for differences amongst female entrepreneurs therefore provides a partial and highly individualistic analysis of these differences. conventional.  Conventional businesswomen are highly committed both entrepreneurship ideals and to the conventional gender role for women. and third. a number of theorists attempt to identify ‘barriers’ which female business owners .  Attachment to entrepreneurial ideals includes beliefs in economic self-advancement. risk-taking behavior and ease of decision-making. self-reliance. on the basis of their acceptance of conventional gender roles and their attachment to entrepreneurial ideals. Masculine items on this scale include. are committed to entrepreneurship ideals but not to conventional gender roles. and a strong work ethic. independence.  These ideals in fact parallel assumptions of ‘traditional male roles’ developed in masculinity-femininity scales. STRUCTURAL BARRIERS:  Rather than using socialization as a starting point. by contrast. domestic and radical. individualism. while acceptance of conventional gender roles is defined as an acceptance of women’s subordination to men. SOCIALIZATION AND ORIENTATION:  There are four types of female entrepreneurs. that women have unique ways of conducting business. competitiveness. As a result. self-reliance.  Innovative entrepreneurs. ambition.

 Despite the focus on structural barriers.  They argue that women’s lack of industry experience and family situation in particular responsibility for childcare.  Other reasons include the fact that women-owned businesses are typically small in size and are concentrated in poorly paid sectors of employment. explain part of the difference in income. and re-assign domestic work. women are to train or educate themselves better.  ‘Non-traditional work syndrome’ in place in analyses of women’s work. WOMEN’S WAYS OF DOING BUSINESS:  A third approach to comparisons between female and male entrepreneurs attempts to develop a ‘female’ model of entrepreneurship to parallel the existing male model. like male entrepreneurs. learn to prioritize between organizational and family responsibilities. rather than structure.  Women need to increase their network diversity by adopting. study engineering. whereby economic gains are prioritized over social ones and it is assumed that women should individually ‘conquer’ traditional .  Central problems faced by women entrepreneurs and develops their prescriptions for success which include. So. science. technical or businessrelated subjects. the need for women to gain experience in financial management by taking loans or managing family finances. therefore.  Women tend to form larger numbers of strong ties. and to learn to delegate business or family responsibilities to others when necessary. develop more appropriate networks and mentoring relationships. it is women. which are seen to require change so that the experiences of female and male entrepreneurship can be equalized.face. obtain occupational experience in middlemanagement. an ‘assertive’ and ‘instrumental orientation’ to personal networks. These theorists focus on the social structures which support gender differences.  Innovators are likely to be successful entrepreneurs in so far as they mimic the masculine work norm.  ‘The profile of women entrepreneurs in future will continue to move closer to that of their male counterparts’. and develop support systems and mentors. this overinvestment in the maintenance of networks can translate into business disadvantages as a woman entrepreneur risks spending much of her time on relationship matters rather than business ones.  Women need to develop a ‘girls’ network to parallel the ‘old boys’ network’.

men’s domains rather than attempt to gain social and economic recognition for domains in which women predominate. occupation and organizational structure differently affect female and male business owners. ISSUES:  Although women have been included in a number of studies on entrepreneurship in recent years. and more often cite child-rearing demands and career dissatisfaction as reasons for business formation. Beijing conference The Beijing Conference (15th September 1995) was a defining moment in the role of the woman as we have come to know it to date.  Women’s business relationships tend to be ‘integrated’ rather than separated from family. societal and personal relationships. on the ways in which the connections between gender.  Women who are highly committed to entrepreneurial ideals but not to conventional gender roles.  Structural differences between the businesses which women and men operate are seen to produce the gender differences in their entrepreneurship patterns. advertising. on the other hand.  Women are less preoccupied than men with economic gain. women and poverty. on the essentialism in the very construction of the category of the female entrepreneur and. The principal themes discussed were the advancement and empowerment of women in relation to women’s human rights.  Women themselves gave greater weight to masculine traits in their evaluation of entrepreneurial success. . public relations and publishing. however. nursing agencies or restaurants.  Women who are highly committed to both entrepreneurial ideals and conventional gender tend to establish businesses which are extensions of their domestic work such as guest houses.  Certain small businesses pose constraints on female as well as male business owners and it is women who predominantly own these businesses. Women and men create different types of businesses and control them in different ways. second. secretarial businesses. establish businesses in areas which require technical skills such as market research.  Existing knowledge on women and entrepreneurship could be enhanced through reflection on two issues: first. there has been little focus on challenging traditional definitions of entrepreneurship or on developing new methods to collect information on entrepreneurship.

decision-making and legal reforms with the ultimate goal of eliminating all forms of discrimination against women in both public and private life. ensuring that a gender perspective is reflected in all policies and programmes at the national. traditions. It deals with removing the obstacles to women's public participation in all spheres of public and private lives through a full and equal share in economic. regional and international levels. These factors in combination with the social aspects such as age may further impede rate at which women commence . The Platform for Action enhances the social. Role of socio-cultural factors Hosfede defined culture as the collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group/category from another. social. Socio-cultural and personal background factor such as age. attitudes. customs. cultural and political decision-making. economic and political empowerment of women. The Declaration embodies the commitment of the international community to the advancement of women and to the implementation of the Platform for Action. committing nations to carry out concrete actions in such areas as health. the girl-child. education. The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action were adopted by consensus on 15 September 1995. The Platform for Action had set out measures for national and international action for the advancement of women over the five years to 2000. violence against women. beliefs. One of the outcomes of the Beijing Conference is an agenda for women's empowerment. These factors play a great role in conceptualization and formation of roles to be acquired by both female and male entrepreneurs. ethnicity. religion and education together with language. handing over trade across generations. art and achievements of society passed on to each generation constitute components of culture. a culture of consumerism (desire of material goods). and values. Studies for instance have shown that some of the factors within culture that play a role on entrepreneurship in general are risk aversion. Socially conservative risk averse culture may as a result be wary about the spawning of entrepreneurial ventures by women. The Platform for Action That aims at accelerating the implementation of the Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women. learned social and value systems such as (spending habits).women and decision-making. improve their health and their access to relevant education and promote their reproductive rights. The action plan sets timespecific targets. mores. customs.

staffs from microfinance institutions take into consideration how such differences affect the ability of microfinance clients to avail of microfinance services and how such differences affect their entrepreneurial activities. Microfinance programmes contribute to the MDG 1 by giving lowincome rural women and men a chance to develop both their on and off-farm income generating activities. education and well-being. On top of their entrepreneurial activity. Another constraint is that in some regions women’s mobility is . ethnicity and whether they access microfinance services as individuals or in groups. Through this process issues that help or hinder men and women clients (or staff) are identified. typical microfinance clientele in many parts of the world have been resource poor female entrepreneurs. rural women usually have a heavy domestic workload that is unpaid. But. Very often women face particular constraints in developing their entrepreneurial activities. Once acknowledged. Microfinance can have multiple spin-off benefits. Promoting “gender-sensitive” entrepreneurship via microfinance institutions puts the onus on the institution itself to be ‘gender sensitive’. Although responding to major development challenges cannot be based solely on simply improving access to financial services. Other cultural factors such as inheritance (that is predominant in the African culture) may play an impeding role in the acquisition of assets that women may use so as to acquire financial backing. Role of Microfinance Microfinance is promoted as a mechanism for triggering or sustaining social and economic development by supporting entrepreneurial activities. which also supports other MDGs. microfinance is an effective tool if used in conjunction with other development approaches and policies. An increase in women’s income has been shown to have positive effects for children’s nutrition. leaving them less time to expand their small businesses. including the potential to be a component of poverty reduction strategies. Whilst clients who use microfinance services differ according to age. so the focus of being gender sensitive is frequently on women ‘catching up’.entrepreneurial ventures due to other responsibilities such as the family. what do we mean by “gender sensitive”? Being gender sensitive would mean that the gender-based differences between men and women clients/staff are acknowledged and transparent. income. thus contributing to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

construction service enterprise and courier service so as to earn a way of living. Microfinance institutions should consider how their services can help women to operate in an often ‘maledominated’ business world. formal. At the very least. However. restaurant.constrained. non formal and informal education plays an important role transferring cultural values from one generation to another. gift and manufacturing. This allows for a healthier balance in the field which as a result of some of the mentioned practice was associated with men. Availability of Education Culture is learned behavior. auto workshop. Emphasis on Girl. poultry and diary farms. potato chips factory. prior experience and skills gains through informal learning have been useful in making a start. They may not then realize the market potential or profitable adjustments they could make to their products. improving the overall quality of life of the girl child has grown in leaps and bounds. This as a result has seen many women opening businesses so as to provide a supplementary income. All this has provided the girl child with a wider range of opportunities of which entrepreneurship is encouraged. beauty parlors. This has seen the need to expand means in which one earns their living. Unemployment Over the last ten years there has been a marked increase in the cost of living as a result of factors such as inflation. Some of the businesses opened up weaving centers. Entrepreneurship thereby provides the best security for life.child Following the 1995 Beijing Conference on female empowerment. Gender sensitivity in microfinance institutions would imply that the institution acknowledges gender-based constraints that affect women in their entrepreneurship activities and plan services accordingly. advocacy for the eradication of cultural practices that in the modern day society are viewed as impinging on the rights of the girl-child (such as marriage). This goes to state that although there is provision of culturally transmitted . photo studio. or expecting women’s business to operate exactly like men’s. This has been done through provision of education. IT café. tailoring and bakery shops. the microfinance institution can try to ensure that it does not worsen or perpetuate inequalities between women and men by ignoring gender based constraints.

An individual will be more influenced by another individual of the same sex. the influence of role models is gender related. behaviors and actions establish the desirability and credibility of a choice (in this case becoming an entrepreneur) for an individual. political and economic transformations seem to be occurring everywhere creating economic opportunities for women who want to own and operate businesses. Other issues bearing upon the role of gender and entrepreneurship with particular focus to women is lack of relevant networks and of societal position. The lack of role models in entrepreneurship Studies such as that of Shapiro and Sokol (1982) have shown a strong connection between the presence of role models and the emergence of entrepreneurs. This as a result has seen women in advanced market economies and developed countries today owning more than 25% of all business and has improved their position in the business world. Gender equality means women and men have equal opportunities to realize their individual potential. . Advanced education for instance. Role models are persons that by their attitudes. are increasingly choosing business ownership as a career path. Women therefore.knowledge. With today’s world changing at a startling pace. which affects the kind of networks they can access or are part of. Women have in general a lower social position than men. as one’s aspirations and choices tend to be more influenced by persons of the same sex. Impact of Globalization Entrepreneurship has been known to serve as a catalyst towards economic development and indeed the globalization process has progressively reduced barriers to entrepreneurship and increased competition in the global market. Historically. to contribute to their country's economic and social development and to benefit equally from their participation in society. formal education may provide various other benefits. can play a role in dissipating the gender imbalance by providing models and concepts that enable women to balance career and family. women have not been present as entrepreneurs in general due to lack close role models. This bare fact implies a strong need for female role models so as to equate the balance between male and female entrepreneurs. Furthermore.

Policies Some of the policies to promote gender equality in entrepreneurship include: Programmes. a woman may just be a housewife but immediately she receives entrepreneurial and managerial skills is becomes a craving/desire for them to apply what they have been taught and by so doing they improve their status. Provision of entrepreneurial and managerial skills has played a detrimental role in improving the status of rural women through intellectually empowering them with practical skills. allocating micro-credits to women in order to improve the livelihood of low-income families . Pilot projects assisting women to start up their own business (UNDP project) and loans and credits to women-entrepreneurs. Exposure to knowledge that aids them in getting themselves out of their current status to much more better statuses e. and their type of network is different. The Kenya Women Trust (Kenya) and KANDET encourage women particularly those in rural areas to form groups.defense of the women entrepreneur’s rights. There have been good reports from the rural areas especially eastern province where these financial supports have helped women improve their statuses and those of their villages. Programmes are now available that help to enable the active integration of women into the labour market. Association has as a broader goal the social protection of women by targeting low-income families:-for example assistance to women entrepreneurs. which have been put in place to support womenentrepreneurs in starting and expanding business.There is evidence to prove that women are less involved in networks than men are. The group of women serves as guarantees for each other. Children are able to go to school and attain education because the strength of a woman is made manifest. The objective of an organization could be consolidation of entrepreneurial women. educating women on their rights and opportunities. save a certain amount of money with the organizations in order for them to qualify for a loan whose interest is very minimal and payable. women have tremendously started their own businesses and boosted others. business education(including computer skills). These programmes have a wide range of activities like market skills training. expressing the interests of the members. As a result of this.g.

It gives legal support in access to loans and banking services. There are programmes which have been established to provide support to aboriginal women with economic and business development.Step in and step out programmes offer services such as counseling. several interactions with different groups of people in terms of ideas. A study of market women. Cambridge. Entrepreneurs are exposed to various avenues for networking purposes. Structural Adjustment and Women in the Informal Sector. levels of income. advocacy and some pilot projects to improve access to capital and business resources.N. Edith. J. training and planning to those owning small and medium sized businesses. Manyire. Henry. 9. micro processes and emerging social policy issues: Some evidence from urban women market trading in Uganda. The main purpose for this is to ensure that the aboriginal women have all the opportunities available in order to advance themselves into the business world. The World Economy. Macro trends. (1993). training. A. and S. Massachusetts. (1994). Bhagwati. Paper presented to the Workshop on Developing Uganda held at Lengthy Landsbrugsskole. Collier P. (1994). (1978). The activities undertaken in this kind of programme are networking. 717-740 . REFERENCES Basirika. social and economic status. “The World Bank Policies towards Trade and Trade Policy Reform”. Roskilde. Sustainable Development. FAO (2001). Uganda Economic Association. Denmark. Rajapatirana (1999). This step in and step out programme only comes in when there is need or problem that needs resolution. Economic aspects of Ugandan transition to peace. Ballinger. Foreign Trade Regimes and Economic Development: Anatomy and Consequences of Exchange Control Regimes. it also supports women entrepreneurs if they feel discriminated especially when denied/refused credit from the banks. Friedrich Ebert Foundation. Nerger.O. 2–5 June.

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