Initiating nascent entrepreneurial activities

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Volume 21, Issue 1, Page 27-49, March 2015.

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the direct effect of two individual-level resources, one subjective and the other objective, and their interaction in influencing the business entry decision. By distinguishing perceived ability from actual ability and using theoretical underpinnings from the human capital theory and self-efficacy theory, the proposed hypotheses are tested on a data set comprising respondents from the adult population. Design/methodology/approach – Using 20,046 observations from the adult population survey (APS) collected according to the global entrepreneurship monitor (GEM) methodology, a logistic regression analysis controlling for robust interaction term is used to determine the direct and interaction effect of perceived entrepreneurial ability and actual ability in influencing the decision to initiate nascent entrepreneurial activities. Findings – The results reveal that perceived entrepreneurial ability has a distinct positive influence on the decision to initiate entrepreneurial activities and its impact is greater than that of actual abilities. Furthermore, the authors find evidence of a positive interaction effect suggesting that perceived entrepreneurial ability is a key determinant of entrepreneurial initiatives among those with high actual ability. Originality/value – The main contribution of the study is to highlight the role of subjective judgements of ability in influencing entrepreneurial behaviour. Whereas prior research has found that actual ability influences new venture performance, its influence on new business entry was inconclusive. By including perceived entrepreneurial ability to the model the authors not only establish a link between objective (observable) abilities and subjective (unobservable) abilities of individuals but also suggest the mechanism through which subjective ability perception drive the business entry decisions of individuals.
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Striking Gold with Women Entrepreneurs

Women don’t know how to manage Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs).
Women can only run retail or services businesses.
Women-led businesses don’t create jobs.
Women don’t really want to grow their businesses – it’s just a hobby for them.

How many times have we heard these and similar sentiments?

There are indeed far fewer businesses led by women compared to men; female-led businesses do tend to be smaller and less profitable; and they do concentrate in the low-productivity retail and services sectors. Yet it is a vast oversimplification to underestimate the already-strong and potentially even greater economic contribution of women entrepreneurs. Even worse is the assumption that the underperformance of women-led enterprises is always something done by choice, or due to something inherently female.

A recent World Bank research report on supporting growth-oriented women entrepreneurs adds nuance to the dispiriting facts above. It focuses exclusively on growth-oriented women entrepreneurs and identifies the crucial elements needed to effectively support them. What merits the focus on growth entrepreneurs? Simply put: their ability to generate jobs, enhance national productivity, and stimulate socioeconomic transformation is greater. What merits the focus, specifically, on women growth entrepreneurs? Simply put: their immense untapped potential. There are an estimated 812 million women in the developing world (according to well-researched projections) with the potential to contribute more fully to national economies as workers and job creators, but who are unable to do so.

We find that firms led by women and men survive at the same rate, women-led firms employ more women as a share of their workforce, and far more dramatically, women and men lead equally productive firms . . . as long as the firms operate in the same sectors.

Unraveling these trends allows us to identify the underlying obstacles that result in both the underperformance of women-led enterprises and their comparable performance in specific sectors. We find that women growth entrepreneurs are held back by a complex intersection of factors – driven both by individual preferences and external constraints. These include gaps in management skills and knowledge, limited financial literacy, lack of access to finance, lack of mentoring, over-representation in low-productivity and low-growth sectors, restricted access to networks and supply chains, and legal and regulatory obstacles. While we now know more about what holds women entrepreneurs back, the support programs by the World Bank and others do not always adequately reflect this knowledge in program design and delivery.

What can we, through the World Bank, do to ensure that our programs have greater impact, are more relevant to women growth entrepreneurs, and demonstrate a replicable model for other development actors and client governments?

The answer: We should start by “gendering” our programs.

In the case of business education for example, “gendering” means more than just limiting program participation to women. Program content must explicitly speak to gender-related challenges like interacting and negotiating with buyers and suppliers in male-dominated markets, navigating team dynamics in a culture where women are not considered “leaders,” and managing intra-household dynamics and mobility constraints. In a related concern, program delivery must also be gender-sensitive: That includes offering in-class examples of successful women-led businesses, inviting successful women as guest speakers, and addressing the patriarchal attitudes of the people implementing the program.



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Logic alone does not lead to innovation

Logic alone does not confer a competitive advantage and companies must increase collaboration to capture latent potential innovations that will improve the business, says entrepreneurial and innovation consultant Frans Johansson. Expertise is not a sufficient differentiator in the rapidly and continuously changing business landscape because logical, incremental innovations will not be able to respond to or capitalise on fast-moving trends. Innovative ideas are not recognised as logical prior to their acceptance and only appear obvious afterwards.
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Collaborative entrepreneurship and the fostering of entrepreneurialism in developing countries

Collaborative entrepreneurship and the fostering of entrepreneurialism in developing countries
Vanessa Ratten
International Journal of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Vol. 3, No. 2 (2014) pp. 137 – 149
The purpose of this paper is to consider collaborative entrepreneurship and its relevance to entrepreneurialism in developing countries. The paper provides some background to the role of collaboration in society including how individuals, businesses and organisations interact with governments to encourage economic and society activity in developing country economies. Read more

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Impact of Demographic Factors on Technological Orientations of BOP Entrepreneurs in Ghana

International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management, Ahead of Print.

The study explores relationship between technological orientations and demographics of bottom of the pyramid (BOP) entrepreneurs in Ghana. The study reviewed literature on the BOP concept. Based on the reviewed literature, hypotheses were developed for testing. Data was collected from 287 micro-entrepreneurs using a structured questionnaire. The data collected was analyzed using the analysis of variance (ANOVA) and regression analysis. The study found some relationships between technology acceptance, connectivity to networks and entrepreneurial demographics. This provides the information necessary for information communications technology (ICT) and technology companies seeking to expand to these new markets as top of the pyramid markets saturate.
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The invisible hand in entrepreneurial process: bricolage in emerging economies

The entrepreneurial process in emerging economies is receiving more interests but the critical role of bricolage is still in dearth. Entrepreneurs in these highly uncertain and dynamic environments discover, develop, and exploit opportunities with limited and idiosyncratic resources. They also navigate the entrepreneurial process within restrictive and unsupportive institutional environments. In this dynamic and often restrictive setting, entrepreneurs wanting to capitalise on opportunities must be able to manage with novel combinations of existing resources. Bricolage is therefore a relevant process in this entrepreneurial environment. This article argues that bricolage is a key mechanism to explore and explain entrepreneurship in emerging economies.
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Women to learn coding and business skills free of charge through Google’s supported #40forward initiative

Outbox hub Kampla, this month, is launching the Women Passion program (WOPA), an experiential based learning program, supported by Google for Entrepreneurs under the #40Forward initiative.

The initiative seeks to train up-to 100 women in programming and entrepreneurship skills. The mission is to foster the creation of women entrepreneurs that address the intersection of opportunities/problems in community with their passions and interests.

For the past one year and eight months that the initiative has been operational, they have been trying to find various ways on how to increase the number of female participants in their programs. To this end, Outbox founder Richard Zulu then worked together with a number of interested individuals to startup the Girl-geek kampala initiative, an independent initiative to celebrate and promote women and girls in science and technology in Uganda with its home at Outbox.

Under Girl-geek Kampala,  a number of trainings and networking sessions were hosted. However, what stood out during the trainings was the high number of girls that dropped out. Ampaire Christine, a co-founder of the Girl geek kampala initiative, was at the helm of organising and overseeing these trainings and shared these as the learnings.

This has since inspired WOPA in rethinking it’s approach from previous experiences.

Lesson 1: Setting expectations for the participants and from the participants is very important. In our first training, the expectations from both ends were not stressed enough hence girls came and went as they pleased.

Lesson 2:  Let all trainings be personal and highly involving. One way trainings led to a high number of dropouts.

Lesson 3: Patient (and diligent)  trainers who can also demonstrate clearly as well as inspire participants.

Lesson 4: Let the girls see their goals come a step closer to reality every week. If they do not see this, they will leave early.

WOPA has partnered with WOUGNET and are looking more partners to support this initiative. We are joining 39 other Google for Entrepreneurs partners to rethink the gender gap and build more inclusive networks. Follow and participate in the conversation using the hashtag #WOPAUG #4OForward on twitter and Google+

H/T: Outbox hub blog

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