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How do female entrepreneurs perform? Evidence from three developing regions

Elena Bardasi, Shwetlena Sabarwal and Katherine Terrell
Small Business Economics
Vol. 37, No. 4, Female Entrepreneurship in Developed and Developing Economies (November 2011), pp. 417-441
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41486143
Page Count: 25
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How do female entrepreneurs perform? Evidence from three developing regions
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Abstract

Using the World Bank Enterprise Survey data, we analyze performance gaps between male-and female-owned companies in three regions—Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ECA), Latin America (LA), and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Among our findings are significant gender gaps between male-and femaleowned companies in terms of firm size, but much smaller gaps in terms of firm efficiency and growth (except in LA). Part of the reason women run smaller firms is that they tend to concentrate in sectors in which firms are smaller and less efficient (in ECA and SSA). By contrast, we find no evidence of gender discrimination in access to formal finance in any of the three regions, although in ECA women are less likely than men to seek formal finance. Finally, while female entrepreneurs receive smaller loans than their male counterparts, the returns from each dollar they receive is no lower in terms of overall sales revenue.

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