Change makers? Women's microenterprises in a Bolivian city

Eversole, R 2004, 'Change makers? Women's microenterprises in a Bolivian city', Gender, Work and Organization, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 123-142.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Change makers? Women's microenterprises in a Bolivian city
Author(s) Eversole, R
Year 2004
Journal name Gender, Work and Organization
Volume number 11
Issue number 2
Start page 123
End page 142
Total pages 20
Publisher Blackwell Publishing
Abstract If entrepreneurs are society's innovators, what is the role of business-people in poor countries - particularly, the 'micro' businesspeople that make up the majority? What hope for decreasing poverty and improving livelihoods do microbusinesses offer? In particular, what is the role of women microentrepreneurs, whose incomes have been understood to contribute a great deal to the well-being of poor households? This paper is based on case studies collected in the late 1990s in Sucre, Bolivia, a context in which many women are the owners of independent microenterprises. Women in Sucre control a range of microenterprises in the commerce, production and service sectors and are recognized as businesspeople by their spouses, families and people in their community. Under such conditions of 'empowered' business ownership, what is the potential of these businesses to decrease poverty? The study explores the business experiences of women microentrepreneurs, their priorities, entrepreneurial abilities and the obstacles they face. It suggests the kinds of business activities which women in Sucre are most likely to undertake and the income levels which these activities generally attract. Finally, it indicates that, while women in Sucre can control resources and take advantage of opportunities as businesswomen, other constraints mean that most women's businesses have only a limited ability to decrease poverty. 'Microenterprise development' alone is insufficient to address the complex relationships affecting how these women and their households access resources.
Subject Business and Management not elsewhere classified
DOI - identifier 10.1111/j.1468-0432.2004.00225.x
Copyright notice © Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2004
ISSN 0968-6673
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