Innovativeness of Women Entrepreneurs. A pilot study of Tanzanian women entrepreneurs.

Charles O. Malaki, Olav Jull Sørensen, J. R. Makindara

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Entrepreneurship is on the agenda in most countries, including Tanzania, as a way to eliminate poverty through subsistence entrepreneurs, self-employment and employment by growth-oriented entrepreneurs. Evidence in general indicates numerous barriers for the establishment and growing of entrepreneurs in developing countries, including Tanzania and especially women who face a number of barriers. In addition, it appears that too much focus both in research and in practice has been on the entrepreneurial side and thus on the establishing of a new business and not on the competitive side, i.e. what novelty or innovation is offered to the market. The aim of this study is to focus on the innovativeness of entrepreneurs. Furthermore, the study focuses on women entrepreneurs to identify how innovative they are when establishing the new venture and in the course of the development of the venture. The study is a pilot study with six cases from two industries and as the literature on innovativeness is scanty, a second purpose is to develop a framework for studying innovativeness of small entrepreneurs in a development context, drawing on the extant innovation literature. It is found that women start their business based on an innovation that is new to them but not new to the market and that in the course of development, introduce some incremental innovations. The cases show that ideas exists, but they are not conceptualized and commercialized for various reasons including low level of risk taking, lack of trust and financial capacity. It is found that the frame for studying the degree of innovativeness among small-scale ventures in a development context is workable but it needs further refinement and testing.
TidsskriftAfrican Journal of Economic and Management Studies
StatusAfsendt - 2018


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