Determinants of the performance of women entrepreneurs’ in SMEs in Abakaliki: ‘Perhaps the wolf will arrive, but when’?
This study investigates the fundamental factors that influence women entrepreneurs’ performance in SMEs in Abakaliki urban region. Entrepreneurship shares strong relationship with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in economic development process and SMEs are placed as the thrust sector of an economy because of its capacity to drive economic development. Survey data collected from 285 experienced women entrepreneurs (WE), engaged in SMEs formed the final database used in the study. Findings from this study reveal that five factors out of nine factors investigated have significant influence on WE performance. These factors include: human capital, entrepreneurs’ goals and motives, economic factors, socio-cultural factors and SMEs industry characteristics. Legal and administrative factors, job complexity, entrepreneurial orientation and opportunity recognition do not have significant influence on WE performance. Among the five factors that significantly influence WE performance, three factors: socio-cultural factors, SMEs industry characteristics and entrepreneurs’ goals and motives are most influential factors. On the strength of the above findings, this study recommends lead effort on expanding financial access to WE in SMEs and policy endorsement on innovative models that encourage private sector led and market base economy, supportive regulatory framework for women entrepreneurs and development of entrepreneurial education in Nigeria.