Female Entrepreneurs in Transitional Economies: a comparative study of Businesswomen in Nigeria and China

Kitching, Beverley & Woldie, Atsese (2004) Female Entrepreneurs in Transitional Economies: a comparative study of Businesswomen in Nigeria and China. In Hawaii International Conference on Business, 21-24 June 2004, Honolulu, Hawaii.


This paper focuses on the theme of women entrepreneurs, business and gender in two transitional economies, namely Nigeria and China. As the OECD Conferences on Women Entrepreneurs in Small and Medium Enterprises held in Paris in 1997 and 2000 pointed out, a situation where women are discriminated against in business has negative economic, social and political consequences for any country and a lack of data on obstacles to women’s entry or success in business makes policy formulation difficult(OECD, 1998, 2001). Should China and Nigeria follow a similar pattern to other societies during the development process with respect to greater frequency of divorce with a growth in single parent families predominantly headed by women, and often living below the poverty line, the negative consequences could be severe. Many questions can be raised about the position of women in business in transitional/developing countries. Have economic and political developments in recent years given women a greater opportunity to start their own business? What type of business are they in? What access do they have to financial and other resources? Do they face similar problems as their male counterparts? Are women subject to discrimination and harassment? Are their issues of concern similar to those of businesswomen elsewhere or are their experiences determined more by local social and economic conditions or traditional cultural norms? The aim of this research is to examine these and other related questions using literature search, questionnaire survey and structured interviews with female entrepreneurs and businesswomen in a number of countries, both developed and developing. This is the first of a series of comparative studies. The research result has indicated that the greatest challenge for both Chinese and Nigerian female entrepreneurs is being taken seriously by their male counterparts as well as society as a whole. The greatest reward of business ownership is in gaining control over their working lives.

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ID Code: 1168
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: businesswomen, gender, female entrepreneurs, economic development, transitional economy, China, Nigeria
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > International Business (150308)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 04 May 2005 00:00
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2011 13:24

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