Effects of gender on the performance of micro and small enterprises in Malawi
Development Southern Africa
Department of Economics, Chancellor College, University of Malawi, Zomba, South Africa
Women are increasingly venturing into ownership of micro and small enterprises, either on their own or in partnership with male entrepreneurs. Using national survey data from Malawi, this study compares the performance of enterprises owned by females with those owned by males. The results show that the relationship between gender and business performance is complex. While there are no significant differences in profit margins, female-owned enterprises tend to grow more rapidly in terms of employment than male-owned ones. Gender-based regression results also show that while there are common factors that affect the performance of both kinds of enterprise, there are also differential effects in which education is a critical factor for the success of female-owned enterprises.
entrepreneur; firm ownership; gender role; microenterprise; small and medium-sized enterprise; Africa; East Africa; Malawi; Sub-Saharan Africa