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Women entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa: An institutional theory analysis from a social marketing point of view

Author

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  • Lyn S. Amine
  • Karin M. Staub

Abstract

This paper takes an international marketing (IM) approach to the study of women entrepreneurs (WEs) in sub-Saharan Africa by examining factors in the environments in which WEs operate. The goal is to understand better how environmental barriers of many types impact the efforts of WEs. Using institutional theory-driven analysis, findings from a wide range of literature are integrated, with special attention to issues of the social legitimacy of women as entrepreneurs. Results of this study demonstrate that WEs in sub-Saharan Africa face a daunting array of challenges arising from the socio-cultural, economic, legal, political, and technological environments in which they live. Moreover, unfavourable conditions in local regulatory, normative, and cognitive systems place additional burdens on women who desire to become entrepreneurs or to expand an entrepreneurial business. In order to address these gender-specific problems, social marketing is recommended with the goals of (1) changing social beliefs, attitudes and behaviours that negatively affect Wes, and (2) improving conditions in institutional systems and market environments. Recommendations in the paper suggest how to bring about changes in attitudes towards women, work and their independent enterprise. In conclusion, directions for future scholarly research are identified.

Suggested Citation

  • Lyn S. Amine & Karin M. Staub, 2009. "Women entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa: An institutional theory analysis from a social marketing point of view," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(2), pages 183-211, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:entreg:v:21:y:2009:i:2:p:183-211
    DOI: 10.1080/08985620802182144
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Angie Ngoc Tran & Søren Jeppesen, 2016. "SMEs in their Own Right: The Views of Managers and Workers in Vietnamese Textiles, Garment, and Footwear Companies," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 137(3), pages 589-608, September.
    2. Foundjem-Tita, Divine & Speelman, Stijn & D'Haese, Marijke & Degrande, Ann & Van Huylenbroeck, Guido & Van Damme, Patrick & Tchoundjeu, Zac, 2014. "A tale of transaction costs and forest law compliance: Trade permits for Non Timber Forests Products in Cameroon," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 132-142.
    3. repec:eee:tefoso:v:131:y:2018:i:c:p:286-302 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:spr:intemj:v:14:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s11365-017-0480-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Grimm, Michael & Knorringa, Peter & Lay, Jann, 2012. "Constrained Gazelles: High Potentials in West Africa’s Informal Economy," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 1352-1368.
    6. repec:spr:jglont:v:9:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1186_s40497-018-0123-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:12:p:4402-:d:185327 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Kimbu, Albert Nsom & Ngoasong, Michael Zisuh, 2016. "Women as vectors of social entrepreneurship," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 63-79.
    9. repec:beo:journl:v:62:y:2018:i:216:p:111-130 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. De Vita, Luisa & Mari, Michela & Poggesi, Sara, 2014. "Women entrepreneurs in and from developing countries: Evidences from the literature," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 451-460.
    11. Milanov, Hana & Justo, Rachida & Bradley, Steven W., 2015. "Making the most of group relationships: The role of gender and boundary effects in microcredit groups," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 822-838.
    12. repec:pal:eurjdr:v:29:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1057_s41287-016-0066-z is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:6:p:1609-:d:214619 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:beo:journl:v:63:y:2018:i:216:p:111-130 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Celestine Katongole & John C. Munene & Muhammed Ngoma & Samuel Dawa & Arthur Sserwanga, 2015. "Entrepreneur’s Intrapersonal Resources and Enterprise Success among Micro and Small Scale Women Entrepreneurs," Journal of Enterprising Culture (JEC), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 23(04), pages 405-447, December.
    16. repec:spr:jglont:v:8:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1186_s40497-018-0111-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Angela Hung & Joanne Yoong & Elizabeth Brown, 2012. "Empowering Women Through Financial Awareness and Education," OECD Working Papers on Finance, Insurance and Private Pensions 14, OECD Publishing.
    18. repec:spr:jglont:v:7:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1186_s40497-017-0076-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Ramani, Shyama V. & Thutupalli, Ajay & Medovarski, Tamas & Chattopadhyay, Sutapa & Ravichandran, Veena, 2013. "Women entrepreneurs in the informal economy: Is formalization the only solution for business sustainability?," MERIT Working Papers 018, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

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