Chapter one introduction 1 Background to the Study

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2.3 Empirical Literature

2.3.1 Women Entrepreneurial Motivation

Motivations of women entrepreneurs empirically, are associated with different factors. The classification of these factors varies from author to author. For instances, Bartol and Martin (1998) classified these factors into (i) Personal characteristics, (ii) Life-path circumstances and (iii) Environmental factors. While Shapero and Sokol (1982); Sexton and Vasper (1982); Hisrich and Brush (1986) findings classified these factors into push and pull factors. The results of their findings revealed that most women under their study cited push factors as their major motivation into business. These factors include; factors of frustration and boredom in their pervious jobs, followed by interest in the business, while pull factors include; independence, autonomy and family security. Reviewing the findings of Carland, Hoy, Boulton and Carland (1984), achievement of entrepreneurial goals which may be target for growth, profit or innovative strategies was seen as same as reason for women venturing into entrepreneurship.

In the same vein, researchers such as Taylor (1988); Fierrman (1990); Zellner (1994); reported that flexibility to manage their dual responsibilities and for a more balanced life as the major factors why women leave paid job to start their own businesses. In support of this, Konrad and Langton (1991) and Morris et al (1995) reported that family issues and responsibility are important to women and can influence their career choices. Ivancevich et al (1997) and Gelin (2005) further argued that “pull and push factors” may include survival, desire to achieve personal goals, or to feed one’s family or to be respected, quest for pride of ownership, due to peer pressure, desire for social recognition, desire to deal with the issue of gender discrimination in the labor market, loss of job to mention but a few.
Aside these factors, recent researchers have devoted more attention to the “glass ceiling” (barriers that prevent female mid-managers from moving up to the executive suite) as a factor that motivate women into business (Morrison, White and Velsor, 1987; Lawlor, 1994; Griffin, 1995; Walbert, 1995; Crichton, 1996; Familoni, 2007). This was in line with the results of Hisrich and Brush (1986) that saw glass ceiling as an organizational push factor that can motivate women to leave their corporate positions to become entrepreneurs. Vesalainen and Pihkala (1999) in their work identified two schools of thoughts as the main factors that determine entrepreneurial action among women. These schools are “the environmental and people schools”. The environmental factors include the cultural and structural conditions of the local environment of women, the people factor which is also called ‘trait approach’ emphasizes more on the entrepreneurial characteristics such as need for achievement (McClelland, 1961); locus of control (Levenson, 1973); tolerance of ambiguity (Timmons, 1978); skill and creativity (Drucker, 1985); and risk taking (Brockhaus, 1980). While environmental factor which is also called ‘circumstantial approach’ emphasizes more on the issues such as government legislation, financial, family and community support (ILO, 2003).

Also Hisrich and Peter (1991) in their work classified these factors into antecedent, triggering and enabling factors or positive, negative and supportive factors. While positive factors are those antecedent factors that have to do with desire for entrepreneurial aspirations such as to be one’s own boss, independent, desire to achieve a growth etc., negative factors have to do with those triggering tendencies that force women into business such as discrimination in the labour market, lack of alternative job opportunity, divorce, death of spouse and so on. Boyd and Vozikis (1994) in support of this classification included the concept of self-efficacy as an important variable of antecedent factors. According to them, self-efficacy provides insight into efficacy judgments which influences one’s behaviour. Bartol and Martin (1998) also identified the following socio-demographic variables as factors that can influence women entrepreneurs; education, age, work history, relative experience, childhood family environment such as birth order and occupations of parents. Kjeldsen and Nielson (2000) classified these factors into personal characteristics, the surroundings, types of enterprise and the entrepreneurial process. Parboteeach (2000) categorized these factors into; (i) the entrepreneur's background, (ii) the entrepreneur's personality, and iii) the environment in which the entrepreneur is operating. Bird (1988) and Jones (2000) also classified these factors as personal and contextual elements. While personal elements include; entrepreneur’s experience, abilities, and personality characteristics, contextual elements include social, political, and economic variables such as changes in markets, displacement and government deregulation.

Considering the negative factors that push women into entrepreneurship, Liou and Aldrich (1995) and Jaimie et al (1998) claimed that discrimination, segregation, role conflict between family, work and institutionalized barriers cause differences in business for males and females. Taylor (1988) identified the following as the reasons behind women entrepreneurship; traumatic events such as being fired from office or losing a job; boredom with a current job; change in personal circumstances such as divorce or pregnancy; a growing need for financial independence; and desire for new professional challenges. Fisher, Reuber and Dyke (1993) also looked at the factors that motivate women into entrepreneurship from the sociological point of view. According to them, these social factors include family obligations, limited opportunities for women in the workplace and limited advancement opportunities. Some psychological factors that push women into starting their own business include; desire for personal achievement (McClelland, 1961), job frustration, previous personal experience, self-fulfillment and Self-transcendence (Maslow, 1971; Butter and Moore, 1997). Cooper (1983); Watkins and Watkins (1986) findings reported that some complex economic and non economic factors which act as obstacles that might turn around to serve as internal pushing factors for women entrepreneurship. These factors include; need to improve quality of life, migration from urban to rural area to continue day to day life activities within moderate economic climate, dissatisfaction with the previous job and others.
Bartol and Martins’ (1998) model on women entrepreneurship argued that factors that motivate women into entrepreneurship include; (i) personal characteristics, (ii) life-path circumstances and (iii) environmental/support factors. These factors can be represented in a diagram as Figure 16.
Figure 16: Factors that affect the desirability and feasibility of entrepreneurial perceptions of new venture

Personal Characteristics

Include age, high tolerance for ambiguity, etc.

Life-Path Characteristics such as negative displacement, career transitions, positive-pull influencers

Environmental/Supporting Factors such as adequate financing, availability of skilled labour etc.

Perceptions of desirability and feasibility of entrepreneurial venture

New Venture

Source: Bartol and Martin, (1998)
(i) Personal Characteristics:

Recent researchers have demonstrated the impact of personal characteristics on entrepreneurial behaviour. Examples of such work include Smilor (1997); Wortman (1987), Baron (1998); Douglas and Shepherd (2000) cited in Gatewood (2004). These factors are made up of two major include personality characteristics and background characteristics (Bartol and Martin, 1998). Studies of existing entrepreneurs have reviewed that most women started their own business as a result of personality characteristics such as need for achievement (McClelland, 1960), locus of control (Levenson, 1973); Brockhaus (1980); high tolerance for ambiguity (Timmons, 1995) while the background characteristics that may influence women entrepreneurs to start their business include variables such as childhood family environment (Hisrich and Brush,1984); education (Cooper and Dunkelberg, 1987); age (Reynolds, 1991; Timmons, 1995) and work history ( Ronstadt, 1988 and Bartol and Martin, 1998).

(ii) Life-Path Circumstances

Another important variable that usually influence women entrepreneurs is life-path circumstances. The variables that contribute much to this factor include; unsatisfactory work environment, negative displacement, career transitions and positive-pull influencers (Brochhaus, 1982; Burlingham and Hartman, 1989, Jefferson, 1988, Darlin, 1996, Weil, 1989 and Lewyn, 1988 cited in Bartol and Martin, 1998).

(iii) Environmental/Supporting Factors:

These factors have to do with the favourable conditions that act as basic prerequisites for starting a business. The variables that can be used in determining these factors include; adequate financing, availability of skilled labour, accessibility of suppliers, accessibility to customers, availability of infrastructures such as land, transportation, electricity etc and availability of supporting service system such as incubators, support networks, living condition etc.(Bartol and Martin, 1998).

In support of the above, Kjeldsen and Nielson (2000) in their research work developed a

model that shows the variables that can influence women into starting up an entrepreneurial event. They called these variables dependent (entrepreneurial action) and explanatory (framework conditions) variables. According to them, “it must be assumed that through these framework conditions, it becomes possible to influence a person’s impression of whether it is desirable and also feasible to create a new enterprise”. This was further explained with a table as in below;

Table 27: Factors that Influence the Implementation of Entrepreneurial Event.

Negative factors (Push factors)





Support scheme

Loss of job


Role models

Tired of job



Finish of training


Network (profession)

Saw a business opportunity

Network (all types)

Has always wanted to own a business

Positive factor (pull factor)

Adapted from Kjeldsen and Nielson (2000); Shapero and Sokol (1975); Kent, Sexton and Vesper (1982)
The presence of the above factors will help a woman to perceive entrepreneurship as desirable which will lead her to conduct a feasibility study on the desired venture before taking decision whether to embark on such venture or not. Based on the above model, Kjeldsen and Nielson (2000) advanced an assumption that “the perception of whether something is desirable will affect a person’s impression of whether it is also feasible – and the other way around”.
Mansor (2005) also reported the factors that could either encourage or discourage women entrepreneurship are financial, environmental, psychological and sociological factors. Financial factors, which may include lack of adequate finance, disincentives of tax system, inhibiting effects of red tape and regulations, failure in implementation of the policy that discriminate in favour or small firms, lack of previous experience in the financial arena, lack of self-confidence in presenting business plans, etc. Environmental factors include availability of venture capital, presence of experience entrepreneurs, technically skilled labour force, accessibility of suppliers, accessibility of customers or new markets, government influences, availability of land or facilities, accessibility of transportation, new technological developments, availability of supporting services and living condition, developmental condition of local communities.
Psychological factors include ability and propensity to risk into enterprise, internal locus of control, need for achievement, proactiveness and others. Sociological factors include; family influence, role model, role of women in the society and others. As was reported by Mansor (2005) it is the presence of these factors (motivational factors) that create willingness (capability) to venture into entrepreneurial activity (outcome/ enterprice). Women entrepreneurial motivation is therefore a combination of several factors (economical, social, psychological and environmental) and a willingness on the part women to start an entrepreneurial venture. Mansor (2005) model on factors that influence women into entrepreneurship is more applicable to this work due to their ability to cover many variables that have to do with feminism. This can be demonstrated in a diagram below;

Figure 17: A Framework for Describing Women Entrepreneurial Motivation

Motivational Factors Capability Outcome

Financial Factors

Psychological Factors

Sociological Factors

Environmental Factors

Willingness to Venture


Entrepreneurial Motivation


Source: Mansor (2005)
The availability of motivational factors is not enough. There must be a willingness to venture into enterprise on the part of women, before the birth of an entrepreneurial venture (Mansor, 2005). Women entrepreneurial motivation is therefore functions of motivational factors and capability. However, Mansor (2005) did not make clear the extent to which these factors can influence women’s willingness to venture into entrepreneurship and other intervening variables that can inhabit them from doing so.

2.3.2. Men and Women Entrepreneurial Motivational Factors

Most researchers conclude that there are similarities in the motivational factors of men and women entrepreneurs, but also stress that a number of differences exist in the motivational factors of men and women into entrepreneurship (Jaimie et al, 1998 and Kjeldsen and Nielson, 2000). Hisrich and Brush (1985); Lavoi (1992); Deakins and Whittam (2000); Gelin (2005), Hisrich et al (2005) argued that even though both men and women start their business due to “push” and “pull” factors, the reasons why women go into entrepreneurship in most cases are different from that of men. Jaimie et al (1998) argued that entrepreneurial motivation differs by gender because female face different situations in the workplace environments which motivate them to start a business. Larwood and Gutek (1989) saw the reasons to be that societal expectations for men and women differ and that these pressures exert differing influences on their career paths. Gelin (2005) attributes this reason to the fact that men and women have different expectations in starting and running their own businesses.

While investigations into the reasons why women start business have been sparse, over the past twenty years a number of studies such as Shapero (1988); Cooper and Dunkelberg (1981); Denison and Alexander (1986); Dubini (1988); Scheinberg and Macmillan, (1988); Shane, Kolvereid, and Westhead (1991); Birley and Westhead (1994) have examined the reasons men initiate ventures. These researchers found out that men go into business mainly due to ‘pull’ factors which they attributed as the opportunity to work independently, desire to have greater control over one’s work and to earn more money. They also identified some “push” factors (though lesser) as men entrepreneurial motivating factors. These include limited advancement opportunities, job frustration, and avoiding an unreasonable boss or unsafe working conditions and need to improve their position in the society for themselves and their families, while men see starting a business as a career strategy; women see it as a life strategy (Noble, 1986 cited in Gelin, 2005). Lavoi (1992) argued that men are in most cases motivated into entrepreneurship mainly for financial gain as opposed to women who are more likely to start a business for the challenge and opportunity for self-fulfillment.
Jaimie et al (1998) and Hisrich (2005) also opined that while men go into entrepreneurship for economic reasons, women do the same to meet family needs. Buttner and Moore (1997) also agree that women’s first reason for starting their own business is independence, need for flexibility (women have to balance work and personal life, and they cannot reach that level of flexibility in large patriarchal companies) and more money comes only in the third position. In support of this, Hisrich et al (2005) rank the following factors in order of priority as the factors that influence women into entrepreneurship; job satisfaction, achievement, opportunity, and desire to have more money.
On the other hand, men’s reasons for going into business have been attributed to be first money, secondly independence and quest for power (Buttner and Moore, 1997). Apart from these factors mentioned above, Gumpert, (1993); Buttner et al, (1993) cited in Gelin (2005) are of the view that women start their own business to deal with the issue of discomfort with the “male values” while working in a male environment and dissatisfaction with slow career advancement and unmet career expectations. Both women and men go into business because they want recognition (Hertzberg, 1948), self-esteem and self-actualization (a strong desire to be one’s own boss) (Maslow, 1943). Other reasons which are more peculiar to women are; desire to achieve success, desire to meet unmet needs in one’s environment, innovation (Gumpert, 1993 cited in Gelin (2005), desire for financial growth, when children are older, to have greater control over one’s work, frustration and boredom in their previous jobs, and interest in the new business (Gracle, 1998). Hisrich, Micheal and Shepherd (2005) among other factors identified role models, moral-support network and professional-support network as factors that motivate men and women into entrepreneurship.
Access to financial resources and availability of the required capital to start the new enterprise have also been identified as women motivating factors into entrepreneurship (Bartol and Martin, 1998). On this regard, Parboteeach (2000) identified three main factors that can motivate women to own their own business. These factors include; entrepreneur’s background, entrepreneur’s personality and the environment in which the entrepreneur operates. Commenting on this, Parboteeach (2000) explained that in the entrepreneur's background research, emphasis is placed on prior exposure, some biographical characteristics, and past entrepreneurial experience. A number of authors have conducted studies to look at psychological antecedents (such as personality traits and other psychological characteristics) that motivate women into entrepreneurial actions (for e.g., Brockhaus, 1982; Gasse, 1982; Hornaday and Aboud, 1971; Welsch and White, 1981 cited in Parboteeach 2000) and even personal motivation (McClelland, 1961).
However, most of the latter researches have not shown any relationship between such characteristics and the type of entrepreneurship. Similarly, researches have not identified any "standard" personality traits that make some women more likely to become entrepreneurs than other non-entrepreneurs (Vesper, 1980; Sexton and Bowman, 1985). In the environment studies, researchers have looked at whether the environment is conducive to entrepreneurship or not. Consequently, after a careful review of literatures, it was decided to focus on both the internal and external factors as they have promises for entrepreneurship research.

2.3.3 Motivational Patterns of Women Entrepreneurs

Motivational patterns of women entrepreneurs deal with the issues of the nature, types and dynamics that exist among women entrepreneurs in different sectors of the economy. The motivational patterns of entrepreneurship are therefore complex and often differ in terms of women and sectors. According to Katz and Kahn (1978) different motivational patterns are likely to exist across the four sectors of the economy. In support of this, National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) (2003) opined that different motivational patterns arise when different types of enterprise are examined in different sectors of the economy. Katz and Kahn (1978) and Tung (1981) identified three patterns of motivation as (i) rule enforcement, (ii) external reward and (iii) internalized motivation. Muriel and Scott (2001) also identified five patterns of women entrepreneurs. These include; (i) dynastic compliance, (ii) no other choice (iii) entrepreneurship by chance (iv) informed entrepreneurs and (v) pure entrepreneurs.

While Shapero and Sokol (1982); Kent, Sexton and Vasper (1982); Hisrich and Brush (1985); Gelin (2005) classified these patterns into ‘push and pull’ factors. They classified women entrepreneurs into ‘push entrepreneurs and pull entrepreneurs. The results of their findings revealed that most women under their study cited the push factors that motivated them to start their businesses to include; factors of frustration and boredom in their pervious jobs, followed by interest in the business, while pull factors include autonomy and family security. To elucidate more on this, Rayn and Deci (2002); Brunstein and Maier (2005) called these factors ‘intrinsic and extrinsic’ motivation. GEM (2005) also identified two motivational patterns among women entrepreneurs. According to them, women entrepreneurs can be classified as being either ‘opportunity driven’ or ‘necessity driven’ entrepreneurs. In support of Ryan and Deci (2002); Brunstein and Maier (2005); Gelin (2005) and Das (2005) in their report viewed these factors as chance, forced and created factors. Each of these factors has different points as in Table 28.

Table 28: Motivational Factors of Women Entrepreneurs

Chance factors

Forced factors

Created or Pull factors

Had time/to keep busy

Money/needed the money

Control over time, flexibility

Was hobby/special interest

To help family financially

Challenge, try something on one’s own

Family/spouse has business

Show others I could do it

To be independent

Self satisfaction

Example to Children

Employment to Others/do something worthwhile

Source: Das (2005)

Patel (1987) and Das (2005) classified patterns of women entrepreneurial motivation based on how their businesses got started. According to them, three categories of women entrepreneurs exist and these include –“chance, “forced” and “created” entrepreneurs. ‘Chance entrepreneurs’ are those who started a business without any clear goals or plans –their businesses probably evolved from hobbies to economic enterprises over time. ‘Forced entrepreneurs’ are those who were compelled by circumstances such as death of spouse and financial difficulties to start a business while ‘created entrepreneurs’ are those who are located, motivated, encouraged, and developed through entrepreneurship development programmes and education. According to Das (2005), some women go into business simply because they had time to do that or they needed something to keep them busy or because their husband is into the same kind of business and see it as an opportunity to start business in that line. Others were forced into business because of their need for money either to augment their earnings or because they have a need for that. Others entered into entrepreneurship because of the availability of certain resources such as time, finance, labour, or because they want to be independent. This is called created entrepreneurs. Looking at the above motivational patterns from different authors the researcher saw the relatedness and commonality of these patterns and hence decided to classify them as ‘internal and external’ factors.

2.3.4 Motivation and Performance of Women Entrepreneurs in SMEs

Majority of theoretical models on the study of entrepreneurial performance emphasize motivation as one of the key elements in the success of SMEs (Yves, McGraw and Allen, 2001). Evaluating the relationship between the motivational factors that influence women entrepreneurs and their performance in SMEs, certain variables were looked at under this section. These variables include; psychological, economical and social-demographic variables. The choice of these variables is subject to the entrepreneur’s view. However, in the entrepreneurship literature, business performance is measured from the economic perspectives in terms of increase in sales volume or turnover, employee strength and profits (Gales and Blackburn, 1990; Chandler and Hanks, 1994). Due to the nature of women and the circumstances surrounding their entrepreneurial motivation, variables such as business net worth and outcome may be used in measuring their entrepreneurial performance. This was in line with the Bigoness’s (1988) argument who reported that women had a stronger preference for jobs that offer opportunity for professional growth to jobs that offer opportunity for higher income.

Looking at the issue of the relationship between women entrepreneurial motivation and their business performance, the work of Stoner and Fry (1982) offered a good insight on this. Their study found out that there is a positive relationship between the reasons why women start business and their business outcomes. In other words, the factor(s) that motivate women into entrepreneurship has/have way(s) of affecting their performance in the business. For instance, the pursuit of financial independence as a factor that influences women into business can positively affect their performance in terms of quantifiable variables such as volumes of production, capacity utilization, growth rates, market share, niche market positions, return on assets, net worth, sales, dividend payouts, share price and profitability.
The measurement of business performance is also subject to the entrepreneurial motivational factors which might be pull or push and intrinsic or extrinsic (Hisrich and Brush, 1986; Ryan and Deci, 2002; Gelin, 2005; Brunstein and Maier, 2005). Although whether the motivation is pull, push, intrinsic or extrinsic inclined; the performance effect can be internally and/or externally measured. For instance, a woman that decided to start her own business because she was not given opportunity in her former place of work to exhibit her leadership potential might measure her business performance in terms of growth in the business’ profits and /or personal growth (self satisfaction). Also a woman who started business because of lack of opportunity to advance her career will measure her business performance in terms of the growth she experiences in her business profit and/ or career life. This is in line with Butter and Moore (1985) argument that women entrepreneurial motivation may be related to the way they measured performance in their own businesses.

2.3.5 Motivation and the Challenges Women Entrepreneurs Face in Business

Entering into business as a woman offers the omni-challenges of learning how to effectively operate the activities of such business while simultaneously attempting to meet all of the other expectations that are a part of being an entrepreneur (Schaefer, 2003). The present study also focuses on a new area of career research as regards to the relationship between women entrepreneurial motivation and the challenges they face in their businesses. As in any complex undertaking, women entrepreneurs usually focus on survival and growth of their enterprises with less attention to those factors that are most likely to result in business failure when they are starting their businesses. This necessarily means that other obligations and activities that can help them handle the challenges they are likely to face in their business will receive more attention. The study seeks to examine the effect of antecedent factors on entrepreneurial start up among women. The priority choices and sacrifices made by women entrepreneurs can take the form of individual opportunity cost decisions, in which they reject alternative competing activities that vie for their time and consideration (Kickul, Welsch and Gindry, 2001).

For example, if a woman starts business either as a result of intrinsic or extrinsic factor, she gives up secure jobs in the paid profession (forego higher salaries and promising career in other industries) without paying much attention on the likely challenges that may result from her decision and makes an effort on how to handle such challenges before starting the business; she may make sacrifices in her personal life in order to pursue her dream of having an established, successful business but instead of success she may end up having some challenges that can lead to business failure (Kickul, Welsch and Gindry, 2001). This is primarily caused by lack of adequate preparation on the part of women to handle the challenges associated with the type of business they do.
Factors that motivate women into business therefore have a way of determining the type of challenge they face in the business. As Kutanis and Bayraktaroglu (2003) rightly observed, women that are forced into business need many years for gaining self-confidence and it takes them longer time to persuade others about their products and services. Kuratko and Hodgetts (1995) saw lack of experience and management skills before starting up a business as a major challenge facing women that are pushed into business and that is why women entrepreneurs are largely found at mean and lower levels of business success ladders. Thus, challenges become important factors in the entrepreneurial motivation. Most women entrepreneurs if not all, suffer from scarcity of resources and therefore incur penalties in the pursuit of desired growth objectives. Reducing these challenges among women may even be a prerequisite for starting an entrepreneurial venture for some other individuals, women inclusive.
Amit et al (1996) also found out that women were more likely to undertake entrepreneurial activity in SMEs where they presume that the challenges involved are lower than in large enterprises. There are inherent societal and self-imposed expectations of women in both their personal and professional lives that influence the way(s) they respond to the challenges they encounter in business (Collins, Chrisler and Quina, 1998). Women entrepreneurial intensity and willingness to handle their business challenges were found to be key motivating factors that propel them to seek for high performance in the industry. This argument is in concordance with the work of Bhave (1994) on entrepreneurial motivation at more established venture stages and also in support of Wicklund et al (1998) study on motivational perspective and entrepreneurial growth. Such motivations seem to induce women entrepreneurs to put in their best and incur significant personal or business sacrifices in pursuit of the success of their enterprise; this has a way of reducing the challenges they face in their business.

2.3.6 Motivation and Type of Entrepreneurial Ownership among Women

The recognition of different types of entrepreneurs is necessary so as to relate an entrepreneur to a particular identity. Classification of entrepreneurs is usually based on different authors and researchers’ views. For instance, Timmons (1978) classified entrepreneurs based on their patterns of behaviour, Vesper (1980) classified entrepreneurs using the opinion of different disciplines; (economics, psychology, politics, business, communist philosophy and capitalist philosophy); self-definition of role (artisan identity; classical entrepreneur identity and managerial identity) and entrepreneurial behavour (craftsman and opportunistic entrepreneurs). Simpson (1993) classified entrepreneurs as conventional, innovators, domestics and radicals. Stanworth and Curran (1976); Lafuente and Salas (1989); Vesalainen and Pihkala (1999) classified entrepreneurs as craftsmen and opportunists. Vesalainen and Pihkala (1999) classification of entrepreneurs was based on entrepreneurial different identities. According to them, an entrepreneur can be identified as either an artisan or a classical or a managerial entrepreneur.

On the other hand, Grafisk (2000) classified entrepreneurs as self-employed, traditional self-employed, growth-oriented, leisure, family owned and network entrepreneurs while United Nations (2006) classified entrepreneurs into growth oriented and subsistence entrepreneurs. The importance of motivation-related variables and entrepreneurial types are reflected in early attempts of typology development in entrepreneurship (Yves, et al 2001). In recognition of the importance of typological development, Gartner et al (1989) in relating types of entrepreneurs to motivational variables defined typology development as taxonomy development as a method for identifying the most salient characteristics for differentiating among entrepreneurs as well as describing how each entrepreneurial type behaves.
These typological studies associated each type of entrepreneurs with different motivational variables. Vasper (1980) in his study associated economics, business and capitalist philosophy entrepreneurs as being extrinsically motivated while psychology, politics and communist philosophy entrepreneurs as being intrinsically motivated. Associating entrepreneurial type of ownership with motivation, Minniti and Arenius, (2003) reported that women who are intrinsically motivated are found more in nascent, new and necessity firms. According to them, these types of entrepreneurship estimate the number of women who start their own business because other employment options are either absent or unsatisfactory. Their study also revealed that women who are extrinsically motivated are found more in opportunity entrepreneurship which estimate the number of women who choose to start their own business as one of several desirable career options.
Brunstein and Maier (2005) in their work reported that entrepreneurs that were intrinsically motivated usually end up with either micro or small enterprises while entrepreneurs that were extrinsically motivated usually start with either medium or large enterprise. GEM (2005) also revealed that the choice of entrepreneurship ownership among women across the 37 GEM 2002 countries differ extensively by different motivating factors ranging from political, social, cultural and economical factor. Their report showed that countries-specific characteristics determine the differences in prevalence ways and manner that women choose the type of enterprise they want to be identified with. Some other factors reported by GEM (2005) in terms of the patterns of entrepreneurial motivation and type among women are class, income and age. Women that are regareded as ‘low and medium’ class women are more likely to start micro and small enterprises as they are intrinsically motivated into business while women who are known as ‘high’ class women are extrinsically motivated and are found in large enterprises. Women who have low income and savings are found in small enterprises while women who have high income are found in large enterprises. On the other hand, women who are in their early and middle age are usually intriscally motivated and are found more in small firms while women who are in their old age are usually extrinsically motivated and are found in large enterprises.

2.3.7 Women Entrepreneurial Motivation and Environmental Factors

Environment is the interrelated and interdependent variables or forces which affect the way(s) a business operates. Business environment is highly dynamic and hence controls the operations and activities of business ventures. The understanding of the dynamism and the effect of environment on women entrepreneurs is very important for policy making. Brockhaus (1986) saw family influence as the antecedent of women entrepreneurial motivation. Aside the family structure, Ronstadt (1984); Morris and Lewis (1991); and ILO (1998) included infrastructure, legal, socio-cultural and economic variables as the environmental factors that can affect women entrepreneurs. In furtherance of their assertion, Morris and Lewis (1991) developed a model that showed the link between environmental factors of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial traits. The model revealed that entrepreneurial traits are strongly influenced by environmental factors such as infrastructure, rapid and threatening change, one’s family, school and work environment. Keeble and Walker (1994) looked at the environmental factors from the perspective of developmental setting that entrepreneurship stimulates local market.

Several environmental indicators have been identified as the major factors that can either hinder or inhibit women entrepreneurs. ILO (1998) viewed these factors mainly as the policy, legal, regulatory and administrative environment. Minniti and Arenius (2003) saw these factors as the supportive services that enhance women entrepreneurial motivation. ILO (2003) and Mansor (2005) enumerated these factors to include; venture capital availability, presence of experience, technical skilled labour force, accessibility of suppliers, customers, new markets, government influences, land, transportation, new technological developments, supporting services and living condition. Mansor (2005) also identified two perspectives; an outside set of conditions to which the entrepreneur must adapt and a strategic choice of the opportunities available via the selectivity of their own perceptions. ILO (2003) was more comprehensive and explicit in its report as regards to environmental factors and viewed them as the external factors from the perspectives of; (i) government policy (fiscal and legislative framework) (ii) access to appropriate business development support (iii) access to finance and financial services and (iv) community and family.
This study viewed environment as an outside or external set of conditions or factors to which women entrepreneurs must adapt. These external factors may or may not be conducive to women entrepreneurship motivation but are critical factors in ensuring the development of sustainable and successful business owned and run by women. For instance, the government ought to ensure that an enabling fiscal and legislative framework is in place; the business development support (BDS) ensures that women have access to a wide range of business development support services such as; training, counseling, marketing, accounting service and so on. Accessibility of finance ensures that women entrepreneurs have access to the right funds at the right time from the right source and at the least costs. The community and family environment ensures that women in SMEs get necessary support from their family and community. Having all these factors in place results in conducive or enabling business environment. This can further be demonstrated in a model as below;
Figure 18: Model for Women’s SMEs Development and Environmental Factors

Fiscal and Legislative

Laws and governmental policies designed to reduce barriers and encourage women’s enterprise development.


Availability of financial support designed to meet the needs of women setting up and growing SMEs.

BDS Support

Availability of support, training and counseling designed to meet women’s specific needs.




Community/Family Support

Support from families and communities based on equality of opportunity and ownership.

Source: ILO (2003), Redesigned by the Researcher.

2.3.8 Empowerment as a tool for Motivating Women Entrepreneurs

Empowerment is coined from the word ‘empower’ which means to invest with power (economic, political, social and legal power). It also means to equip or supply with an ability or official authority. Empowerment according to Oxford Dictionary (1999) is ability to attain development for economic performance. Empowerment means to give someone impetus to function at a maximal capability and it involves people in assuming control or mastery over their lives (Rappaport, 1995). It is a function of income-related activities (activities or decisions that would not come up if the family did not have money to spend or invest). It enables women to participate fully in family and societal decision making, attend increased health and control of their children’s education. Without empowerment, women’s timid and natural activities will be worsened off. Empowerment is a social process that promotes participation of people, organization and communities towards the goals to increase individual and community control, political efficacy, improved quality of community life and social justice (Wallerstein, 1992).

Applying the word empowerment to gender relates to social placement of power on the female gender to exercise and maximize her God’s given potential and resources in order for her to contribute positively to the development of her society. This could be attained through different measures like gender equality, economic empowerment enfranchisement, removal of all social, traditional and religious constraints that have hindered women from participating actively in social, economic, legal, political and family decision making. Empowerment of women entrepreneurs is important considering the fact that women account for over 60% of the Nigerian population. As a result of their traditional roles as wives, daughters and mothers, their participation as long as business and management of entrepreneurial initiatives are concerned is still very low (Adelaja, 2005) and majority of the women typically operate micro and small sized enterprises (Thomson, 2002). Empowering women enables them to participate fully in the mainstream of economic activities.
The need to empower women entrepreneurs, therefore stems from the facts that; (i) the growth of the national income and GDP of the country depends on the income from entrepreneurship owned by women whose contributions to the socio-economic growth and development in Nigeria is not more than 35% compared to men. (ii) To encourage more women to emulate the activities of some women owned enterprise that have become out-standing. (iii) It will also engender the desired industrial revolution in Nigeria. Women contributions are needed for government policies and programmes designed to help the economy. (iv) The contribution of women entrepreneurs in job creation, wealth creation and establishment of poverty alleviation initiatives has great impact in challenging men in Nigeria. (v) Empowering women entrepreneurs will help the country to recover her lost glory before the international community who have loss confidence and hope in Nigeria as a result of corruption and scam issues. (vi) It will also help in empowering the entire country as there an adage that says “train a women and train a nation” – women empowerment is national empowerment (Adelaja, 2005). (vii) Promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women as an effective way of motivating women entrepreneurs will help to combat poverty, hunger, disease and stimulate development sustainability in developing economies (ACC Interagency Task Force 2001 cited in Floro, 2001). Women empowerment programmes have their objectives mainly on meeting women needs: to increase the participation of grassroots women in bank activities; to institutionalize a gender perspective in bank projects and programmes; to increase bank investment in women’s health services, education, agriculture, land ownership, employment, and financial services; and to increase the number and racial diversity of women in senior management position in different endeavours of life.

2.3.9 Effects of Empowerment on Women Entrepreneurs

Looking at the effect of empowerment on women entrepreneurs, Narayan’s (2002) and World Bank’s (2002) reports suggested that empowerment as a motivating tool can be used as a poverty and risks reduction strategy. Table 29 and 30 below show the result of this report;

Table 29 Empowerment as Poverty Reduction Strategy




Empowerment as expansion of assets, capabilities for women to participate in negotiation, control and hold accountable institutions.

*Access to information/ Transparency

*Inclusion/Participation in decisions

* Accountability

*Local Organization Capacity

* Provision of services (Equitable


*Improved Local/National Governance (less Corruption) More Social Cohesion)

*Pro-Poor market development. (Bottom up investment/Women’s Empowerment)

* Access of poor to justice.

Source: Narayan (2002)

Table 30 Empowerment as Risk Reduction Strategy


Organizational/ Entrepreneurial


Intrapersonal Change

Political efficacy

Collective efficacy (belief in group)



Critical Reflection


Sense of Community

Social Capital







Organizational Capacity



Achieves results

Empowering to Members

Civil Society

Good Governance



Human Rights





EnvironmentalConditions and Policies.

Source: Narayan (2002)
The models in Table 29 and 30 show that empowerment as a motivating tool may be in form of enabling access to credit, labour, land, technology, conducting training programmes and workshops for women entrepreneurs has the tendency of offering women the opportunity (i) to network with others; (ii) for capacity building; (iii) to build confidence and self esteem (iv) to acquire managerial skills and; (v) for effective management of assets and human resources. The effect of empowerment is therefore community, state and national development through the participation of women in different sectors of the economy such as agriculture, manufacturing, trade, service and others. The outcome of empowerment on women entrepreneurs has psychological, entrepreneurial and community/ state inclination. A woman empowered today will experience interpersonal changes such as self motivation, economic and resources control and increase in participation in family decision making. This according to Narayan (2000) and World Bank (2002) will lead to entrepreneurial and community/state development. This can be further demonstrated in the diagram as shown in Figure 19 below.
Empowerment Outcomes- Psychological

*Intrapersonal Change

-Economic Control

-Motivation to act

-Perceived Control

-Collective Efficacy

-Political Efficacy

-Belief in group action

* Sense of Community

-Bonding of Social Capital


-Community identity


* Participation

* Interpersonal: Critical Conscious of Society

igure 19: Empowerment Outcomes on Women Entrepreneurs

Empowerment Outcomes-Community/State

* Enhanced Civil Society

-Structures for participation

-Increased social capital

*Good Governance

-Decreased Corruption

-Increased Transparency


* Pro-Poor Development

-Increased micro, small and medium Enterprise

-Increased material assets

-Enabling economic policies

* Human Rights

-Increased civil liberties

-Anti- discrimination policies

* Transformed Soci-Economic, Environment Conditions and Policies

Empowerment Outcomes- Entrepreneurial

* Well Functional Services

- Efficiency


- Integrated

- Culturally Appropriate

-Equitable distribution of resources

-Maintained Overtime

* Enterprise Effectiveness and Capacity

- Effective leadership

-Empowering of members


-Produce outcome

-Bridging social capital

* Effective Inter-Organizational Network /Partnership

Sources: Narayan (2000) Redesigned by the Researcher

Ways of Empowering Women Entrepreneurs for Economic Development

Promotion of women empowerment and gender equality has been viewed by many researchers as a key to combating poverty, hunger, disease, crisis and stimulating sustainable development and motivating women for involvement in economics development (Floro, 2001; Iheduru, 2002). Emphasizing on the different ways of empowering women for their relevance in the economiy, Tichareva (2003); Aderinwale (2002) and Adelaja (2005) have suggested the following as the best ways for empowering women for enhanced economic status.

  1. Provision of Micro credits/ microfinance to Women in Business: Women’s microfinance empowerment programmes have their objectives mainly on meeting women needs; to increase participation of grassroots women in bank activities; to institutionalize a gender perspective in bank projects and programmes; to increase bank investment in women’s health, education, agriculture, land ownership, employment, financial services; and to increase the number of management positions which they occupy in different endeavours of life.

  2. Integration of women in management and decision making position: Nigerian women’s participation in economic and decision-making has been very low. Data obtained from the Division for the Advancement of women (DAW) have statistics of women’s and economic decision-making in the global outlook shows that the ratio of women to men in administration and management positions is less than 18% for every 100 men (World Survey, 1994) and the role of women in development had been identified as predominantly male culture of management seen as a major obstacle to women representation at the decision-making positions. If women are effectively integrated into management and decision making positions, their contributions in economic development will greatly improve.

  3. Recognition of women as a development issue: The result from the report of Kardan (1991) shows that women are not recognized as a development issue because it is assumed that they will be cared for by male heads of household and their marginalization from economic activities is both inevitable and appropriate.

  4. Development of human capital among women is very important. Women have potentials to contribute creatively their skills and capabilities. Women skills and managerial styles often change the dynamics of their enterprise. However, this can only be possible when adequate time is given to ensure that women are well empowered through training, development, provision of resources and capacity building (Kardan, 1991).

  5. Empowering women through education promotes gender equity, achievement of their potential for positive contributions to economic development. As mother of nation, a woman train today will help in preserving the nation tomorrow. Investing in the education of women as a long term economic development strategy helps in empowering women. As was rightly observed by Omotayo (2005), education is a human right and an essential tool for achieving gender equality, economic development and growth. This confirms a wise saying “when you train a woman you have trained a nation”.

  6. Creating entrepreneurial awareness among women. More entrepreneurial enlightenment through organizing of seminars, conferences and workshops need to be created among women so as to convince them on the need for their involvement and participation in economic development.

  7. Provision of technology for women in both labour and energy for research and development. This will help in ensuring that women are exposed to information technology quite early in their lives. Exposure to Information Technology has been identified as the best strategy for equipping and empowering women to compete favourably with their male counterpart on equal grounds especially in science and technology.

2.4. Theoritical Framework

This section is important as it throws more light on the theoretical framework of this research. The study draws its theoritical base from the libral feminism and entrepreneurship theory. The purpose of this theoretical framework is to analyse the theory and practice of feminism in order to clarify its use in women entrepreneurship. This analysis includes, an overview of the uses of the concept drawn from the literature, the defining attributes and the justification of their choice. The concept of libral feminism was chosen out of an interest in developing a feminist perspective to the development of women entrpreneurship.

Libral Feminism and Entrepreneurship Theory

Libral feminist theory requires that entrepreneurship researchers try to prevent muddling women in the form of men. Friedan (1995) argued that rather than merely changing the plight of women’s interests, entire definitions of concepts (such as how we characterize “business, motivation and success”) should be restructured into a collective vision that includes both genders. Defining the concept of feminism, liberal feminists see it as the concern with gender equality and the promotion of equal rights for men and women. Their emphasis centered on the expression of these concerns (gender discrimination and segregation) through theory or action, and the valuing of individuals for their contributions to society rather than their biological or sexual characteristics or roles. On the other hand, Entrepreneurship theory is an ideology based on individual efforts to create, innovate and transform creativity and innovative desire into wealth creating and value adding undertaking for the individual’s benefits and common good (Kao, 1997).

In this view, the recognition of the increasing contribution of women to business and entrepreneurial ownership, community and economy development has promoted research into women entrepreneurial development in the last decade. This, in turn has led to an interest in "feminizing" research into entrepreneurship and motivation for business ownership generally (Moore, 1990; Stevenson, 1990; Hurley, 1999; Fischer et al., 1993). The implicit view of what underlies the differences between men's and women's approach on motivation to entrepreneurship is influenced - knowingly or otherwise - by different feminist philosophies and perspectives. Specifically, liberal feminists have persuaded that lifting the barriers to women's participation and involvement in development (raising women to men's estate) in all spheres of activity, including business ownership, ought to be the main direction of research and practice. Also they opined that gender inequality stems from unequal participation of women in sphere of activities out side of the family; business, education and paid labour decision making process. In most cases, men are more allowed to participart freely in socio-political structure without restriction than their women counterparts. Libral feminists have argued that women's ways of doing things, and specifically female approaches to business ownership, need to be celebrated in their own right (Jaggar, 1983; Tong, 1989). Economic production activities, childrearing, care of other members of family, the sick and gender socialization must all be looked at not from sexual point of view but from the contribution’s impact into economic system. (, Retrieved Nov. 2007).
The discussion has spilled over into debates about motivating women into entrepreneurial venture. Findings revealed that women have less previous experience both on entrepreneurial role models and direct entrepreneurship experience. This has fueled debate over whether women are inherently "less entrepreneurial" than men, or whether their lesser access to entrepreneurial experience can be remedied by "lifting the barriers" as was listed by Gould and Perzen (1990) which prevent their participation in economic activities. Still a third alternative has been suggested: that peculiarly feminine approaches and motivation to entrepreneurship have tended to be obscured by ‘male models of entrepreneurship’ which have dominated research, and that women's approaches and motivation to establishing and growing businesses and entrepreneurial ventures need to be celebrated in their own right as was suggested by social feminism.

A further common conceptualization of the typical entrepreneur as someone who refuses to acknowledge failure or defeat, and who regards all business problems as learning experiences - or even disguised opportunities rather than obstacles (Vesper 1980; Timmons, 1995). Implicit in this view is an assumption that while all entrepreneurs face and overcome problems, men and women do not face essentially different problems in business. This means that entrepreneurial problems cannot be ‘feminized’, rather problems have different effects on men and women. Libral feminists on entrepreneurship as a result have often argued that business problems affect women and men in different ways, and that systemic discriminatory factors in the society as a whole account for women's lesser representation in the ranks of business owners and entrepreneurs. Leadership and political structures should tend to de-emphasize human’s sexual roles and characteristics and rather should buttress more on human’s impact and contributions to socio-political issues.

Studies exploring whether or not women experience more difficulty than men in securing start-up finance have been prompted by this view (Brush, 1992). As a result, researchers such as Barrett (1995); Hurley (1999) and Fischer et al (1993) have suggested the need for feminizing policies and programs that can enhance women’s participation and involvement in economic development through entrepreneurship. Programmes advocated include affirmative action, equal opportunity employment, employment equity, pay equity, parental leave and subsidized day care, hence look to state to bring about women’s liberation through legislative measures-equality through law (, Retrieved, Nov. 2007).


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