Careers of commercially successful female entrepreneurs in context of underdeveloped markets and weak institutions

Sarpong, David, Nyuur, Richard and Torbor, Mabel (2022) Careers of commercially successful female entrepreneurs in context of underdeveloped markets and weak institutions. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, 28 (3). pp. 698-719. ISSN 1355-2554

IJEBR_Manuscript_Dec2021_acceptedversion.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (785kB) | Preview
Official URL:


Purpose – Careers have come to dominate contemporary discourse on gendered entrepreneurship. In this paper, we explore entrepreneurial careers as recounted by commercially successful female entrepreneurs to examine how they strategize to construct desirable careers in contexts characterized by underdeveloped markets and weak institutions.

Design/methodology/approach – Using a qualitative research design, data for our inquiry comes from publicly available life-history accounts of twenty female entrepreneurs appearing on an enterprise focus television show in Nigeria. We supplemented our television interview data with archival data in the form of publicly available digital footprints of the entrepreneurs collected from their company websites, magazines, online newspapers featuring these entrepreneurs, and their social media pages such as LinkedIn, Wikipedia, Facebook, and Instagram.

Findings – The careers of female entrepreneurs operating in context of underdeveloped institution and markets, we found, are characterized by four heterogeneous ingrained dispositions and actions reflecting how they got in and got on with their entrepreneurial careers: (a) ‘Observing and playing business’ (b) traipsing the ‘path less travelled’ (3) a hook to the ‘Pierian spring’ of entrepreneurship, and (4) ‘grace under pressure’ in decision-making.

Originality/value – We contribute to the entrepreneurship literature by providing insight into the lived experiences, agency, and careers of commercially successful female entrepreneurs as played out in the form of a contextual practice of ‘wayfinding’ to starting up and managing their own business ventures.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Commercially successful entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial careers, life-history, lived experiences, underdeveloped markets, weak institutions
Subjects: N100 Business studies
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2021 11:26
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2022 13:30

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics