Gender and Enterprise Development in Africa: A Cross-Country Comparative Study

Research Team:
Prof. Ruth N. Kiraka*
Dr. Hellen N. Otieno
David, K. Wangombe
Strathmore University, Nairobi, Kenya
P. O. Box 59857 – 00200, Nairobi
Tel: +254 (0)703034000
13th April 2013
*Principal Researcher and Contact for correspondence

N/B: This is a cross country study involving three countries namely Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda. It funded by International Development and Research Centre (IDRC).
Research Proposal Submitted to

This study seeks to analyze the nature of female and male owned enterprises in Kenya in order to assess the extent to which constraints faced by women and men entrepreneurs affect productivity and performance. Additionally, the study seeks to examine the role of information and communications technology (ICT) in the business performance of these enterprises. To this end, the study will be national in nature, covering 10 counties across Kenya. The counties will be selected purposively so as to capture diverse populations in terms of geographical and socio-economic characteristics that will allow for in-country comparisons, while drawing conclusions about the Kenyan MSME sector as a whole, with specific reference to gender segregated issues and comparisons.

Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative research approaches, data will be gathered from MSMEs, ensuring a balance of both female and male owned enterprises, and key stakeholders such as government and financial institutions that lend to MSMEs, and business associations like betika among others. Business Development Service (BDS) providers may be included to the extent that they can provide relevant data.  The study will have relevance for policy, practice and academia. From a policy perspective, gender-segregated policy interventions that can help to build support for MSME growth and productivity will be recommended. For practice, the study will be of relevance to business development service (BDS) providers and financial institutions lending to MSMEs, on how they can make their services more relevant by paying more attention to the gender differences of their clients and identifying appropriate gender-segregated products and services. For academia, this study is important in developing appropriate business models that take into account gender differences, as well as developing academic curriculum that is relevant. As the MSME sector in Africa grows and becomes increasingly important in the continent’s economic growth, it is important that researchers and academics provide appropriate and relevant training for wholesale Havaianas among other innovations.

Contact Details

Madaraka Estate
Ole Sangale Road, PO Box 59857,
00200 City Square
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: 0703-034000, 0703-034200