Factors affecting the success of women’s entrepreneurship: a review of literature

Ezilda María Cabrera, David Mauricio

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


Purpose: Women entrepreneurship has grown significantly all over the world, and it is widely established that entrepreneurship is important for economic growth and wealth. Despite those facts, women’s participation in entrepreneurship is lower than men’s in almost all societies. Those phenomena get the attention of scholars from diverse disciplines, all of them interested in the behaviour and profile of female entrepreneurs and their business success rates. Several isolated factors were studied, with positive and negative effects on each stage of the entrepreneur process, for women entrepreneurs, so the purpose of this research is identify, classify by their impact and organise those factors in relation to the stages of the entrepreneur process. Design/methodology/approach: The literature on factors affecting female entrepreneurship produced since January 2010 until October 2015 is analysed to define entrepreneurial success, identify factors affecting success at each stage of the entrepreneurial process and propose and organise those factors at individual and environment levels. Findings: Several factors affecting female entrepreneurial success at each stage of the entrepreneurship process were found and organised at the internal (individual), micro, meso and macro environment level. In the literature reviewed, the most considered factors are: at the internal level, human capital, education and experience, with effects on the opportunity identification stage of the entrepreneurial process, and at the micro environment level, access to resources with effects on the opportunity recognition, acquiring resources and entrepreneurial performance stages, both with influence on quantitative and qualitative indicators of success. Originality/value: This paper proposes an integrated classification and an array for all those factors that have an influence on women’s entrepreneurship and its success, relating those to the entrepreneurship process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-65
Number of pages35
JournalInternational Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • Self-employment
  • Women’s entrepreneurship


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