What is it about?

This paper provides one of the first known evaluations of whether enterprises in which women are owners underperform male-owned enterprises in the developing world. Until now, the widespread assumption, mostly from developed world studies, has been that enterprises in which women are owners underperform male-owned enterprises.

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Why is it important?

To evaluate this in developing countries where there is a dearth of studies, cross-sectional data is reported from a 2007 World Bank Enterprise Survey (WBES) of 937 South African enterprises. The finding is that enterprises that are women-owned or jointly owned by men and women perform better than those owned solely by men, after controlling for other determinants of firm performance as well as potential sample selection bias. The outcome is a call to transcend the underperformance thesis regarding women entrepreneurs and for greater resources to be devoted to the promotion of women’s entrepreneurship and women’s involvement in firm ownership.

Perspectives

Shows need to transcend the underperformance thesis of women entrepreneurs

Professor Colin C Williams
University of Sheffield

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This page is a summary of: Contesting the underperformance thesis of women entrepreneurs: firm-level evidence from South Africa, International Journal of Management and Enterprise Development, January 2018, Inderscience Publishers, DOI: 10.1504/ijmed.2018.088327.
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