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Value creation through female entrepreneurship in Pakistan

Sheikh, Shandana 2019. Value creation through female entrepreneurship in Pakistan. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Although female entrepreneurs are viewed as the rising stars of the economy (Vossenberg,2013) and the way forward, (World Economic Forum, 2012), the discourse on underperformance in female entrepreneurship still holds (Marlow and McAdam, 2013). Entrepreneurial outcomes have been studied in terms of financial performance, wealth creation, firm survival, (Baumoletal.,2007\McMullen and Warnick,2016), and promotion of economic growth in developed and developing economies and across industries(Audretschetal.,2006;Baumol,1986). While evaluating entrepreneurial activity in financial terms is important, it often results in a one dimensional analysis of female entrepreneurial outcomes, (Zahraetal., 2009). Resultantly, female entrepreneurs are stereotyped as underperforming, owing to the standard yardstick against which their performance is evaluated in entrepreneurship. Accordingly, this research evaluates entrepreneurial outcomes from a holistic and non-monetary lens, one that extends beyond profit, growth, wealth creation or employment generation. In particular, this research studies the multiple value outcomes accruing through female entrepreneurial activity and the contextual embeddedness of such value using the entrepreneurial ecosystem framework. To develop a holistic understanding of value in female entrepreneurship, and the contextual influences affecting this value, in-depth interviews with 85 female entrepreneurs in Vehari, a district in Southern Punjab, Pakistan, were conducted. These entrepreneurs were randomly selected from a list of working women entrepreneurs trained under the dairy farming project of United States Agency of International Development(USAID). The key findings suggest that despite constraints in entrepreneurial ecosystem, women create value at multiple levels; towards themselves (individual value), towards the businesses (business value), towards the households (household value), and towards the community (community value). Highlighting value at four unique fronts, this research alters the lens through which performance and success is viewed in female entrepreneurship. In doing so, it highlights the subjective measures of performance in entrepreneurship, ones that are not recognized nor appreciated, but which are equally worthy. Accordingly, it challenges the underperformance image of female entrepreneurs, suggesting that women do not underperform but that the lens through performance is viewed is superficial.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Submission
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 September 2020
Date of Acceptance: 7 August 2020
Last Modified: 25 May 2021 01:25

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