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HP11 - Women Entrepreneurs on the African Continent

Convened by Ulrike Schuerkens (Université Rennes 2, France)

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There are many research outputs on women in entrepreneurship such as literature on the challenges and obstacles. However, most of this literature focusses on women entrepreneurs in the North, including the United States and Europe (Edoho 2015; Sheriff & Muffatto 2015). Studies on Senegalese women can be found in two PhD theses that used mainly quantitative approaches (Diop Thiam 2015 and Mbodji Diop 2019). However, there is a lack of information on challenges and obstacles of women in Africa to manage and start a new formal business. Thus, the research question is as follows: how do female entrepreneurs perceive and describe the experience of running a successful business in Africa and beyond? This research intends to understand how women entrepreneurs made meaning from their lived experiences. As Memli et al. (2015) stated, value creation needs innovation and resources to build new businesses that generate profit. Opportunities must be used, and ideas are necessary to create a new commercial business. Women entrepreneurs in the South are exposed to obstacles that hinder their success, such as lack of support and cultural perceptions. These challenges differ based on culture, age, education, and ethnicity. In Africa, the social and cultural perceptions are decisive for the choice of the business including female-oriented industries. This session invites case studies on women entrepreneurs in the formal sector based on qualitative or quantitative methods.