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Women entrepreneurs in the Gambia: challenges and opportunities


  • Marina Della-Giusta

    (University of Reading School of Business, Whiteknights, UK)

  • Christine Phillips

    (University of Reading School of Business, Whiteknights, UK)


This article reviews the literature on women entrepreneurs in developing countries and presents evidence from a case study undertaken during 2001 and 2002 in Gambia examining the challenges facing women entrepreneurs in the small enterprise sector. The article attempt to discuss the gendered nature of the barriers to survival and growth, particularly the low productivity of sectors in which women entrepreneurs operate, the difficulty in accessing capital for expansion and the need to reconcile business with domestic activities and the propensity to view business as part of an overall livelihood diversification strategy. The article argues that further to addressing specific gender needs of women entrepreneurs, policy and support mechanisms must be sensitive to and geared towards both enterprises with potential and aspirations for growth and diversification and those whose primary objective is that of sustaining livelihoods. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Marina Della-Giusta & Christine Phillips, 2006. "Women entrepreneurs in the Gambia: challenges and opportunities," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(8), pages 1051-1064.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:18:y:2006:i:8:p:1051-1064 DOI: 10.1002/jid.1279

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Evers, Barbara & Walters, Bernard, 2000. "Extra-Household Factors and Women Farmers' Supply Response in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 1341-1345, July.
    2. Mead, Donald C. & Liedholm, Carl, 1998. "The dynamics of micro and small enterprises in developing countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 61-74, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Poornima Gayangani Wasana Jayawardana Author_Email:,, 2011. "Capabilities Of Rural Credit In Entrepreneurship Development Among Women: A Sri Lankan Perspective," Annual Summit on Business and Entrepreneurial Studies (ASBES 2011) Proceeding 2011-031-189, Conference Master Resources.
    2. Saskia Vossenberg, 2013. "Women Entrepreneurship Promotion in Developing Countries: What explains the gender gap in entrepreneurship and how to close it?," Working Papers 2013/08, Maastricht School of Management.
    3. Christine Phillips & Seema Bhatia-Panthaki, 2007. "Enterprise development in Zambia: reflections on the missing middle," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 793-804.
    4. 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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