Evaluating the Gender Variations in Informal Sector Entrepreneurship: Some Lessons from Brazil

Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 1-16.

16 Pages Posted: 24 Dec 2015

See all articles by Colin Williams

Colin Williams

University of Sheffield - School of Management

Youssef Youssef

Humber College

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to evaluate critically the gender variations in informal sector entrepreneurship. Until now, a widely-held belief has been that entrepreneurs operating in the informal sector in developing nations are lowly paid, poorly educated, marginalized populations doing so out of necessity as a survival strategy in the absence of alternatives. Reporting an extensive 2003 survey conducted in urban Brazil of informal sector entrepreneurs operating micro-enterprises with five or less employees, the finding is that although less than half of these entrepreneurs are driven out of necessity into entrepreneurial endeavor in the informal economy, women are more commonly necessity-driven entrepreneurs and receive lower incomes from their entrepreneurial endeavor than men despite being better educated. The outcome is a call to recognize how the gender disparities in the wider labor market are mirrored and reinforced by the participation of men and women in the realm of informal sector entrepreneurship.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship, micro-enterprise, women, gender inequalities, small businesses, enterprise culture, informal sector, underground economy, shadow economy, Brazil

JEL Classification: H26, J46, J48, K34, K42, O17, P2, P3

Suggested Citation

Williams, Colin and Youssef, Youssef, Evaluating the Gender Variations in Informal Sector Entrepreneurship: Some Lessons from Brazil (2013). Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 1-16., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2707315

Colin Williams (Contact Author)

University of Sheffield - School of Management ( email )

15 Conduit Road
Sheffield, S10 1FL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/management/staff/williams/index

Youssef Youssef

Humber College ( email )

Toronto M9W 5L7, Ontario
Canada

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