Vol. 2, Issue 8 (2015)
Impact of capacity building on women entrepreneurs - A literature analysis
Author(s): Arpita Kumari Mishra
Abstract: It is an established fact that more and more women are seeking economic opportunity and self-determination through enterprise creation. The growth of women’s entrepreneurship is frequently cited on an anecdotal basis, and is increasingly covered and commented upon in the business circles and media. By most accounts, looking at a variety of surveys and statistical sources, it appears that between one-quarter and one-third of the formal sector businesses worldwide are owned and operated by women; the share of informal enterprises owned by women is even greater. (Jhabvala, 1999) Many studies have found that women entrepreneurs in developing countries have to face difficulties in assessing and competing in local market. (Van Vuuren and Groenewald, 2007; Bradley and Boles, 2003; Smith-Hunter, 2006; Greene, Hart, Gatewood, Bush and Carter, 2005;  Mc Clelland, Swail, Bell and Ibbotson, 2005). In this scenario, F.Stephen and Ammu Josephes has pointed out that such barriers includes the harsh economic realities of women’s lives, male resistance to women‘s lack of access to literacy, numeracy and other functional skills. Thus the challenge in this century is to work towards the economic, social and political development, many question emerge about women’s development in entrepreneurial contexts. These questions were also adopted by the 2000 OECD conference on women entrepreneurs in small and medium enterprise (OECD. 2000), which focused on improving knowledge about female entrepreneurship and its obstacles, fostering entrepreneurial culture and developing women-owned businesses. Taken together, it seems important to work towards: enhancing women’s access to and control over productive endowment , increasing the productivity of women’s labor and productive resources through expanding their access to extension services, credit, education, information and training and influencing the process of knowledge creation, and by increasing women’s return to their labor and produce through expanding their access to commodity and labor markets and their ability to effectively bargain in the market place. Thus, the effort should be given to strengthen the capacities to claim their due share of resources and power within families and communities and vis-à-vis, the market place and government organization. This paper makes an attempt to review the empirical literature on capacity building. A sample of 48 academic publications on capacity building on women entrepreneurs across scholarly journals culled out from electronic searches of the academic databases and research journals constituted the main data for analysis. After clustering the studies, it was found that there is scarcity of literature in this direction. Preliminary analysis demonstrates that the studies focused on the organizational level, thus pointing out that there is a need for studies on the individual level. Implications for further studies in this direction are highlighted at the end.