Gender and the growth of microenterprises
This chapter explores the issue of gender-differentiated patterns of growth; do female and male entrepreneurs have different interests in their business strategies and display different patterns of growth? If they do, what factors explain these differences? This chapter provides evidence supporting the hypothesis that women more often than men use available resources to increase the diversity of their enterprise portfolios rather than the size of a single firm. These tendencies toward ‘occupational multiplicity’ (Massiah, 1988), it is argued, have important implications for research and intervention design. They suggest that research which measures growth solely in terms of firm size underestimates the earnings of women's enterprises. Additionally, interventions aimed at promoting the growth of firm size may fail in assisting female entrepreneurs, who focus on different goals.
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