Exploring new frontiers in women’s entrepreneurship policy in Sub-Saharan Africa

Dina Nziku, Colette Henry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

37 Downloads (Pure)


This paper focuses on women’s entrepreneurship policy in Sub-Saharan Africa, a topic that fits well with the conference theme “SPACE – Exploring new frontiers and entrepreneurial places.” As a discrete field of scholarship, women’s entrepreneurship continues to grow in both academic and political appeal, with a notable increase in the volume of research studies and reports that either focus exclusively on women entrepreneurs or explore entrepreneurship from a decidedly gender perspective (Jennings & Brush, 2013; Henry, Foss & Ahl, 2017; Marlow et al., 2017; GEM, 2018; & Kvidal, and Ljunnggren, 2014). One aspect of women’s entrepreneurship that has received limited scholarly attention is that of policy (Foss, Henry & Ahl, 2018). The limited number of research studies that have focused on this topic not only highlight its importance, but also identify a number of policy factors found to affect women’s entrepreneurial endeavours in both developed and developing countries (Brush, de Bruin & Welter, 2009; & Langowitz, and Minniti, 2007). Such factors include, but are not limited to, a disproportionate focus on male-dominated sectors, an over-reliance on soft supports, inequality of access to networks, inequality of access to finance, and the perennial ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach (Coleman, Henry, Orser, Foss, & Welter, 2018). With specific regard to the latter, scholars recognise the need for policy supports to not only be gender-aware, but also to be contextualized within their relevant geographic, cultural and, where possible, sectoral setting if they are to be truly effective (Welter et al., 2014). Despite such acknowledgement, for the most part, gender aware policy formulation or contextualization either does not occur or is not readily apparent (Ahl & Nelson, 2015; Arshed, Carter & Mason, 2014). This is particularly the case in under-developed countries, where gender-related policies often struggle to move beyond basic equality levels, and gender-aware entrepreneurship policies remain an elusive luxury.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 42nd Annual Conference of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship
PublisherInstitute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship
ISBN (Print)9781900862325
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2019
EventThe 42nd Annual Conference of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship: Space - Exploring New Frontiers and Entrepreneurial Places - Crowne Plaza Newcastle, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Nov 201915 Nov 2019


ConferenceThe 42nd Annual Conference of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Abbreviated titleISBE 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Women's entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurship policy
  • Gender
  • Institutional theory
  • Tanzania
  • Sub-Saharan Africa


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring new frontiers in women’s entrepreneurship policy in Sub-Saharan Africa'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this