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Journal cover: Management Research Review

Management Research Review

ISSN: 2040-8269
Previously published as: Management Research News

Online from: 2010

Subject Area: Management Science/Management Studies

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Challenges facing women entrepreneurs in Nigeria

Document Information:
Title:Challenges facing women entrepreneurs in Nigeria
Author(s):Daphne Halkias, (Center for Family and Young Enterpise, University of Bergamo, Bergamo, Italy), Chinedum Nwajiuba, (Imo State University, Owerri, Nigeria), Nicholas Harkiolakis, (Metsovio Polytechnic of Athens, Athens, Greece), Sylva M. Caracatsanis, (University of Exeter, Exeter, UK)
Citation:Daphne Halkias, Chinedum Nwajiuba, Nicholas Harkiolakis, Sylva M. Caracatsanis, (2011) "Challenges facing women entrepreneurs in Nigeria", Management Research Review, Vol. 34 Iss: 2, pp.221 - 235
Keywords:Africa, Entrepreneurs, Nigeria, Poverty, Women
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/01409171111102821 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – This study seeks to examine the business and social profiles of 67 women entrepreneurs in three regions of Nigeria in order to identify patterns of entrepreneurship and social and economic challenges facing women business owners in Nigeria. The study aims to support and encourage sustainable small-scale economic development activities by Nigerian women and determine ways to integrate these small businesses into existing urban economic development projects and strategies for poverty alleviation, expand understanding of the business and social profiles of women entrepreneurs in Nigeria, examine the contextual influences on their work, raise the level of awareness of women entrepreneurs amongst all economically active agents and researchers, influence social and economic policy addressing issues of women entrepreneurs.

Design/methodology/approach – A survey was developed and administered to a sample of 62 practicing Nigerian female entrepreneurs. The survey was divided into sections that recorded personal demographics, the entrepreneur's perceptions of the business environment and their venture and the motivations and drives that led to the birth of their business. Data were collected and processed to produce frequency distributions on every question/variable in the survey followed by cross-tabulations between all variables and ?2 tests in order to reveal strong associations.

Findings – With no or few significant differences shown to exist between male and female business owners or managers once they have already started an enterprise, there is a strong indication that Africa has sizeable hidden growth potential in its women. From the results presented, it is evident that female entrepreneurship in Nigeria is driven by micro-financing as well as family dynamics that work to shape and influence the birth of a business.

Research limitations/implications – Future research initiatives need to explore the gender dimension and the influence of education levels on the role models that influence and drive female entrepreneurship. In addition, the evolution of the complete life cycle of the entrepreneur's business should be examined and dependencies on the variables presented should be investigated. Finally, research should focus studies whose aim is to influence social and educational policy that encourages women's entrepreneurship in the fight for poverty alleviation in Africa.

Originality/value – Unique contribution with information being provided regarding an area that has not been studied before with a quantitative and qualitative method both within the same study.

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