Prof. Aoife Hanley, Ph.D. (CAU, IfW & KCG) & Cecília Hornok, Ph.D. (IfW & KCG)
Using the Ghanaian ISSER-IGC panel, a survey of micro, small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises for 2011-2015, we explore how the underperformance of Africa’s female entrepreneurs can be explained by a male-female export gap, together with nine key business constraints. We find that female entrepreneurs are less likely to export and optimize their exports than their male peers. Importantly, we find that although access to finance is ranked more highly as a constraint by female entrepreneurs, this does not explain the difficulties they experience in optimizing exports. Consistent with related work (Field et al, 2010; Swamy et al, 2001), we find that constraints related to social and cultural norms, in particular concerning bribes and security, are especially important for females. This may hint at the exclusion of female entrepreneurs (voluntarily or involuntarily) from business networks or practices favored by their male peers.
Charles Ackah (University of Ghana, Accra) — Holger Görg (CAU, IfW & KCG) — Aoife Hanely (CAU, IfW & KCG) — Cecília Hornok (IfW & KCG)