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The role of cultural values in understanding the challenges faced by female entrepreneurs in Nigeria

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to examine the challenges female entrepreneurs face in the development of their business in the context of Nigeria. In so doing, it addresses a gap in the literature on the experiences of female entrepreneurs in a non-Western context and acknowledges the contribution that women make in this area of work. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The paper draws on survey data from 274 female entrepreneurs currently engaged in their businesses in three states ‐ Lagos (Nigeria's largest city), Ogun and Oyo within the South West of Nigeria. Findings ‐ Results indicate that female entrepreneurs are generally confident and resourceful and that they enjoy the challenge of entrepreneurial activity. As in the West, they experience difficulties relating to family commitments and access to finance ‐ as well as problems gaining acceptance and accessing networks. Originality/value ‐ It is argued that cultural values specific to the situation mean that these challenges, while common to female entrepreneurs in other national contexts, "play out" differentially and that they are experienced with different levels of depth and "intensity". It is also argued that future research might uncover at a deeper level and drawing on qualitative methodology how some of the factors identified are experienced in women's day-to-day lives. The paper suggests some policy implications in the form of support for female entrepreneurs in this context.

Keywords: Entrepreneurialism; Entrepreneurs; Nigeria; Social values; Women

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2010-01-01

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