Entrepreneurial Self Efficacy and Performance of Women-Owned SMEs

Author: Jabulile Msimango-Galawe and Nomusa Mazonde

Article history:
Received: 02 April, 2019
Accepted: 15 April 2020
Handling editor: Jones Odei Mensah, PhD


Women-owned SMEs (WO-SMEs) have become an integral part of economic growth in emerging markets. However, extant literature suggests that they are not performing as best as their male counterparts; thus, the need for researchers to give them special attention. Multiple factors are cited as reasons for the poor performance, but this study opted to focus on one important factor, entrepreneurial self-efficacy of women entrepreneurs.

The purpose of this study was to determine the level of entrepreneurial self-efficacy (ESE) of women entrepreneurs. Secondly, it was to examine the impact ESE has on the performance of these Women-Owned SMEs in emerging markets. There are a plethora of studies that deal with entrepreneurial self-efficacy and performance of SMEs in general, but very few that focus on the ESE of women entrepreneurs in emerging markets. Even those that focus on women entrepreneurs tend to lean more on comparisons between women and men-owned businesses.

This is a quantitative study that used online questionnaires to collect primary data from 120 women entrepreneurs. It is a cross-sectional study that adopted the positivist paradigm. Data were analysed using primarily multiple linear regression. The results showed that the level of entrepreneurial self-efficacy of women entrepreneurs in South Africa is low, leading to low performance. There is evidence suggesting that the growth dimension of entrepreneurial self-efficacy influences performance and emerged as the strongest predictor of performance (business growth and financial satisfaction).

Entrepreneurial Self Efficacy, Financial Satisfaction, Women-Owned Businesses, Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, Growth, Women Entrepreneurs

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