An investigation into the impact of institutional support on the economic effectiveness of women-owned SMES in Harare
MetadataShow full item record
Entrepreneurship has emerged as a strong economic growth model and it is important for government and other institutions to support it. SMEs are renowned engines for growth of economies and women entrepreneurship, has steadily gained the attention of researchers and institutions. This study sought to investigate the impact of institutional support on the economic effectiveness of women-owned SMEs. The first intention was to establish whether there is a causal relationship between various elements of institutional support and the effectiveness of women’s entrepreneurial ventures. These elements were Institutional Financial Support, Institutional Services awareness, Policy Support and Representational Organisations Support and their impact on Enterprise Effectiveness. Secondly, it sought to establish whether current institutional support is adequate from the perspective of women entrepreneurs in Harare, Zimbabwe and institutions as well. A review of literature has shown that there is great benefit in economically empowering and supporting women entrepreneurs, in terms of GDP growth and value chain development. Doing so, creates a potential of boosting per capita growth rates, across the developing world of over 1.1% on average. Various elements were reviewed, and it was found that most information on the topic focuses on SMEs without particular reference to women-owned SMEs. Despite limited statistics on the exact population of women-owned SMEs in Harare due to lack of substantial databases in relevant government departments, a womenowned SME sample was extrapolated based on number of SMEs obtained from SMEAZ. Judgemental sampling for women entrepreneurs and stratified random sampling for institutions were used to come up with survey respondents. Research objectives, questions and hypotheses were answered after analysing responses to a structured questionnaire using SPSS. The study concluded that there is a strong positive relationship between financial support, services awareness, policy support and representation organisation support and effectiveness of women’s entrepreneurial ventures. However, currently in Harare, Zimbabwe, there is inadequate institutional support. Recommendations were made on follow up action and areas for further research were identified.