Factors Determining Women Entrepreneurship in a South Asian Context
Women have been bound by traditional norms, beliefs, and values in which they are given secondary status within their communities as compared to men. They are marginalized by a patriarchal culture that assigns them the household responsibility. Although, women occupation in most of the societies has largely depended on childbearing, sustenance of the family and labor work in industries. However, in recent days the awareness and educational development among women have emerged the desire for small business and entrepreneurship. The idea of women’s entrepreneurship is not new in Pakistan and its acceptance as an important associate to achieve supportable monetary growth. However, despite the intention of doing business by women in Pakistan is low due to diversified factors like high discrimination, low trust, lack of confidence in the culture and society. There is rare evidence that women are increasingly involved in decisionmaking but there is no proper guiding principle to enlighten them to come out of their lives comfort zone. Having observed the literature on women problems and their intention to be selfindependent this study has developed a psychological integral model based on the psychological factors determining women entrepreneurship in Pakistan. The present study has also examined the association and impact of these explored factors on the entrepreneurial intention & behavior of young female business students who are studying in management sciences in different universities and degree awarding institutions of Pakistan.
The study mainly pedestals on the Theory of Planned Behavior of Ajzen (1991), which can help in clarifying the entrepreneurial business intention & behavior of female students. This cross-sectional study was conducted through a research questionnaire survey by adopting valid instruments. The data was collected from 895 respondents ’female students. The hierarchical regression analysis (bootstrap) applied to test the impact of factors on women entrepreneurial intentions that lead to their behavior using AMOS and SPSS-(bootstrap). The result showed that women with high self-efficacy, self-confidence, the locus of control, social identity, self realization, self-esteem, family tradition, faced gender discrimination scored higher on women entrepreneurial intention. As a moderator, extrovert and openness to experience (personality dimensions) have less influence on women entrepreneurial intention but religiosity and personal network influence women entrepreneurial intention significantly. Moreover, results suggest significant direct and indirect effects of women entrepreneurial intention through the mediation variables, attitudes towards behavior, subjective norms, and perceived behavior control. Findings of this study will contribute to the entrepreneurial body of knowledge and will be useful to regulators and policymakers to encourage and enhance business intention in women, enabling them to contribute their expected role in Pakistan.