Artículo

Female entrepreneurial activity in Latin-America: A literature review within perspective of Institutional Theory

 

Actividad Empresarial Femenina en Latinoamérica: Una revisión de literatura bajo la perspectiva de la Teoría Institucional

 

 

 

Dyala de la O Cordero[1]

Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica

ddelao@tec.ac.cr

 

David Urbano Pulido[2]

Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona

david.urbano@uab.cat

 

 

Tipo: Revisión de la literatura

 

 

Recibido: 2019-08-20

Aceptado: 2019-12-09

 

RAN - Revista Academia & Negocios, Vol. 5 (2) 2019, pp. 9-28

 

 

 

Abstract

The aim of this study is to analyze the content of research studies on female entrepreneurial activity, using the institutional economics as a theoretical framework. This paper shows how Latin America is study as a single region and, the topics are studied independently or in topics group. Private organizations –mostly- and scholars demonstrate an interest to study the female Latin-American entrepreneurial initiatives; however, the phenomenon is still poorly understood. There is a lack of official government information and statistics. Recognizing contributing factors of female entrepreneurial activity could help to improved public policies in Latin America. The research contributes theoretically to knowledge regarding to the content of research focusing on female entrepreneurial activity and provides an overview of the subject in Latin America.

Resumen

El objetivo de este estudio es analizar el contenido de los estudios de investigación sobre la actividad empresarial femenina, utilizando la Teoría Institucional como marco teórico. Esta investigación muestra cómo América Latina se estudia como una sola región y los temas se estudian de forma independiente o en alguna clase de agrupamiento de temas. Las organizaciones privadas –principalmente– y los académicos demuestran interés en estudiar las iniciativas empresariales femeninas latinoamericanas; sin embargo, el fenómeno todavía se entiende poco. Falta información oficial del gobierno y estadísticas. Reconocer los factores contribuyentes de la actividad empresarial femenina podría ayudar a mejorar las políticas públicas en América Latina. La investigación contribuye teóricamente al conocimiento con respecto al contenido de la investigación centrada en la actividad empresarial femenina y a proporcionar una visión general del tema en América Latina.

Keywords: female entrepreneurship, institutional theory, Latin America.

 

Palabras clave: emprendimiento femenino, Teoría Institucional, América Latina.

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Previous research has suggested that gender, gender characteristics, and institutional environment influence female entrepreneurship, but more work is needed to better understand gender and entrepreneurship (Díaz, Urbano and Hernández, 2005; Estrin and Mickiewicz, 2011; Minniti and Nardone, 2007; Noguera, Alvarez, and Urbano, 2013). Research often focuses on the number of undertakings carried out rather than the formal and informal factors that encourage specific types of firms or entrepreneurs. At the same time, it is still necessary to understand what woman entrepreneurs fight for, what problems they encounter, and what managerial stereotypes they confront (Brush, de Bruin, and Welter, 2009; Jennings and Brush, 2013; Minniti and Nardone, 2007).

Researchers need to stop asking the traditional questions about the differences between male and female entrepreneurial styles and on the difficulty’s women face. Fostering female entrepreneurship requires a twofold approach that examines both the current situation and prospects. Such understanding is an important emerging topic in Latin America because entrepreneurial activity is predominantly a male phenomenon: men own most businesses, and the role of women in entrepreneurial activity and social mobility remains poorly understood (Castellani and Lora, 2014).

The literature reveals that in the Latin American region, entrepreneurial activity is directly linked to economic growth, infrastructure improvement, and international competitiveness, all of which are associated with improvements in quality of life (Acs and Amorós, 2008; Wennekers, Uhlaner and Thurik, 2002). Despite varying levels of participation in entrepreneurship across Latin America and the Caribbean and within individual economies, structural changes are needed to improve the level of entrepreneurial dynamics (Amorós and Cristi, 2008). Thus, female Latin-American entrepreneurs are critical for business growth and societal improvement, although they play a different role in each economy and their contributions depend on the kind of agent they are (Wennekers et al., 2002).

Entrepreneurship is gendered, and families influence women’s undertakings. Nascent business undertakings by women can be the result of necessity or opportunity, and they could represent more than an economic issue (Jennings and Brush, 2013). Common frameworks usually consider only markets, money, and management, but for further development of the study of women’s entrepreneurship, other factors such as motherhood and environmental factors need to be added (Brush et al., 2009).

Therefore, it is still necessary to do more work to understand gender differences. Evidence suggests the following: 1) some variables have an influence on entrepreneurial behavior, and attitudes toward entrepreneurship reflect subjective perceptions rather than objective conditions (Minniti and Nardone, 2007); 2) entrepreneurial women would achieve greater personal success and add to economic growth if they could reach an adequate relationship between work conditions and family life (Peris-Ortiz, Rueda-Armengot and Benito-Osorio, 2015); 3) women are less likely than men to enter self-employment unless they have advanced degrees; 4) for women, primary child care, household activities, and being married have direct effects on self-employment (Gurley-Calvez; Harper and Biehl, 2009); 5) promoting entrepreneurial opportunities could help companies to easily reach their objectives; 6) women’s potential is an underestimated element in most companies (Mattis, 2004); and 7) risk aversion seems to be stronger in women than in men (Wagner, 2007).

To summarize, in Latin America, entrepreneurship is gendered, and so is policy. Women are expected to contribute to economic growth and job creation while continuing with their traditional role model. Female entrepreneurs’ background and personal attitudes could affect their entrepreneurial activity (Ahl and Nelson, 2015; Lofstrom and Bates, 2009).

This study objective is to examine literature on female entrepreneurial activity within the framework of the institutional theory, and state how this activity contributes to economic development in Latin-America

First, we analyze the relevant literature on female entrepreneurial activity. Second, the methodology used is described. Next, the results are presented and discussed, and finally the conclusions are offered.

Conceptual framework

Studies do not usually explicitly connect the relationship between entrepreneurship and institutional theory. However, some studies have addressed the enhancement of knowledge about this relationship because entrepreneurs are essential to create and institutionalize new practices, forms, and managerial structures (Tolbert, David and Sine, 2011).

Some significant entrepreneurship studies are based on the institutional theory framework. In this context, three main streams can be identified: the institutional setting and entrepreneurship, legitimacy and entrepreneurship, and institutional entrepreneurs. Research also follows different perspectives of the institutional theory: one based on sociology and organizational theory (DiMaggio and Powell, 1991) and another based on political science and economics (North, 1990); the focus has primarily been on culture; and studies have been single-country studies (Bruton, Ahlstrom and Han-Li, 2010).

Institutional theory also provides a framework to analyze business creation in relation to rules and norms that influence economic development positively or negatively (Díaz, Urbano and Hernández, 2005). The intersection between entrepreneurship research and institutional theory provides opportunities to enhance understanding of the phenomenon of female entrepreneurship and opens fruitful avenues for further research (Tolbert et al., 2011).

Douglas North's institutional theory (1990) has proved to be especially helpful to entrepreneurial research and has the potential to generate great insight into entrepreneurship (Bruton et al., 2010). In North’s perspective, environmental factors can affect the creation of new businesses. These undertakings can contribute to new jobs, innovation, and economic growth (Díaz et al., 2005). Therefore, North’s analytical framework explains the way in which institutions and institutional changes affect the performance of economies and outcomes at a given time.

In the study of entrepreneurship, consideration must always be given to institutions because they determine and explain the evolutionary aspect of entrepreneurial activity. Any business decision is an answer to the environmental institutional setup. On the other hand, as an essential function in a dynamic economy, entrepreneurship is constantly trying to change institutions (Henkerson, 2007).

Thus, we select institutional theory as our conceptual framework because there is evidence from previous studies showing how the institutional approach explains entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial activity. In addition, institutional theory is useful in explaining the formal and informal factors that influence economic development, and it can accommodate a large range of research methods.

 

METHODOLOGY

The search for relevant articles used mostly Web of Science and citations within Journal Citation Report (JCR), a sampling approach that has gained consensus recently among several authors. It also made possible an analysis of the impact factor using JCR.

Besides academic papers, we also considered relevant reports[3] from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM Report 2016 and GEM Special Women’s Report 2014 and 2012), four reports from the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) related to entrepreneurial activity (Aboal and Veneri, 2014; Kantis, Koening and Angelelli, 2004; Kantis, Mashaiko and Mashaiko, 2002; and Weeks and Seiler, 2001); a report from the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA; the Spanish acronym is CEPAL)[4] related to women entrepreneurs (Heller, 2010); and on from the World Bank about entrepreneurial activity in Latin America (Lederman et al., 2014). We want to highlight that there is also a significant body of material in books, but they were not considered for this study.

Based on the literature review, seminal academic studies were identified using the following keywords in the title, abstract, and keywords: entrepreneurship, female/woman/women entrepreneurship, institutions, and economic growth/development. Attention was focused on keywords, journals, objectives, and methodology. The terms of exploration are shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Search selection criteria

Selection criterias

Period:                        January1996–May 2017

Main database:           Web of Science

Other database:          Science Direct, Emerald, Springer, others

Type of publication:  Articles in journals with impact factor SSCI

Subject area:              Business, management, economics, women studies

Languages:                English, Spanish

Source: Own elaboration.

Our research focuses on identifying the literature that has considered North´s Theory as a conceptual framework to explain female entrepreneurship in Latin America and how entrepreneurship contributes to economic development. Once the exploration process was finished, we proceeded with a deep exploratory study to construct an analytical framework to organize about female entrepreneurial activity, entrepreneurship and institutions, and entrepreneurship and economic development (Appendix). The terms “gender” and “Latin America” were also considered; however, by their own nature these were included in the three groups mentioned. Table 2 summarizes the main findings of our first-round structure review.

Table 2. Literature review structure: Main findings

Keywords

Journals in which articles are most published

General objectives oriented to

Most used methodology

177 different keywords

Small Business Economics

 

International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal

 

 Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice

 

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

Women’s role in business and gender differences.

 

The relationship between entrepreneurship and institutions.

 

Link between entrepreneurship and economic growth and institutions.

Driven analyses from a wide range of literature.

 

GEM database and other national databases analyses are used as a data source.

 

More common statistical techniques are survey methods, functions, equations, regressions, correlations, and panel data, among others.

Source: Own elaboration.

Table 3 contains the references for those works we considered seminal. Finally, three other tables condense the data for the analytical framework analysis; each contains outlined information covering the name of the study, keywords, authors, objectives, methodology, and the researcher’s contribution (Appendix).

Table 3. Seminal academic papers

Female entrepreneurial activity

Entrepreneurship and institutions

Entrepreneurship and economic growth

Brush, C., de Bruin, A., and Welter, F. (2009). “A gender-aware framework for women’s entrepreneurship.” International Journal Gender Entrepreneurship, Vol. 1 (1), pp. 8–24.

Acs, Z. J. and Amorós, J. E. (2008). “Entrepreneurship and competitiveness dynamics in Latin America.” Small Business Economics, Vol. 31 (3), pp. 305-322.

 

Acs, Z. J. and Szerb, L. (2007). “Entrepreneurship, Economic Growth and Public Policy.” Small Business Economics. Vol 28. pp. 109-122.

 

Jennings, J. E. and Brush, C. (2013). “Research on woman entrepreneurship: Challenges to (and from) the Broader Entrepreneurship Literature?” The Academy of Management Annals, Vol. 7 (1), pp. 661-713.

 

Bruton, G., Ahlstrom, D., and Han-Li, L. (2010). “Institutional Theory and Entrepreneurship: Where Are We Now and Where Do We Need to Move in the Future?” Baylor University. May 2010 421. DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2010.00390.x

Acs, Z.J., Desai, S., and Hessels, J. (2008). “Entrepreneurship, economic development and institutions.” Small Business Economics, Vol. 31 (3), pp. 219-234.

 

Mattis, M.C. (2004). “Women entrepreneurs: out from under the glass ceiling.” Women in Management Review, Vol. 19 (3), pp. 154-163.

North, D. (1990). “Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance.” Cambridge Univ. Press.

Kantis, H., V.M. Koening, and Angelelli, P. (2004). Developing entrepreneurship: Experience in Latin America and worldwide. Washington DC: Inter-American Development Bank.

Minniti, M. and Nardone, C. (2007). “Being in someone else’s shoes: The role of gender in nascent entrepreneurship.” Small Business Economics, Vol. 28 (2–3), pp. 223–239.

Tolbert, P., David, R., and Sine, W. (2011). “Studying Choice and Change: The Intersection of Institutional Theory and Entrepreneurship Research.” Organization Science, Vol. 22 (5), pp. 1332-1344.

van Stel, A., Carree, M., and Thurik, R. (2005). “The Effect of Entrepreneurial Activity on National Economic Growth.” Small Business Economics, Vol. 24 (3), pp. 311-321.

Wagner, J. (2007). “What a difference a Y makes – female and male nascent entrepreneurs in Germany.” Small Business Economics, Vol. 28 (1), pp. 1-21.

Veciana, J.M. and Urbano, D. (2008). “The institutional approach to entrepreneurship research. Introduction.” International Entrepreneurship Management Journal, Vol. 4, pp. 365-379.

 

Source: Own elaboration.

 

THEORETICAL DEVELOPMENT

Qualitative analysis

 

As discussed above, this paper analyzes the content of research studies focusing on female entrepreneurial activity, taking as a conceptual framework the institutional approach (North, 1990), in order to offer a Latin-America overview.

Table 4 shows that 43.48% of the empirical works are related to female entrepreneurial activity, followed by institutional approach studies (28.26%) and economics studies (28.26%). Associated with female entrepreneurial activity, 47% of the works are directly related to Latin America. However, there are only two academic papers, and the rest are special reports from private initiatives. Lofstrom and Bates (2009) analyze the relative success of self-employed female Hispanics, and Kuschel and Lepeley (2016) study “copreneurial” women in start-ups.

Table 4. Approach of the analyzed articles

Approach

Articles

Author and year of publication

No.

%

Female Entrepreneurial Activity

20

43.48

Aboal and Veneri (2014); Ahl and Nelson (2015); Brush et al. (2009); GEM Special Women’s Report (2014, 2012); Gurley-Calvez et al. (2009); Heller (2010); Jennings and Brush (2013); Kantis et al. (2004, 2002); Kuschel and Lepeley (2016); Kuschel et al. (2017); Lederman et al. (2014); Lofstrom and Bates (2009); Mattis (2004); Minniti and Nardone (2007); Noguera et al. (2015); Peris-Ortiz et al. (2015); Wagner (2007); Weeks and Seiler (2001).

Institutional theory

13

28.26

Alvarez and Urbano (2011); Amine and Staub (2009); Autio and Fu (2015); Bruton et al. (2010); Bygrave (1989); Capelleras, and Rabetino (2008); Díaz Casero et al. (2005); Estrin and Mickiewicz (2011); Henkerson (2007); Noguera et al. (2013); Tolbert et al. (2011); Urbano and Alvarez (2014); Veciana and Urbano (2008).

Economics

13

28.26

Acs et al. (2008, 2012); Acs and Szerb (2007); Acs and Amorós (2008); Amorós and Cristi (2008); Amorós et al. (2012); Castellani and Lora (2014); GEM Report (2016); Langowitz et al. (2006); Nissan et al. (2011); Thurik and Wennekers (2004); van Stel et al. (2005); Wennekers et al. (2002).

TOTAL

46

100

 

Source: Source: Own elaboration.

 

Aboal and Veneri (2014) find that the different types of female Latin-American entrepreneurs derived from differences in their personality traits and socio-demographic backgrounds They offer a group of measured characteristics for Latin American entrepreneurs and find heterogeneity when countries are analyzed separately.

Weeks and Seiler (2001) summarize known information on women’s entrepreneurship in Latin America and the Caribbean. They find an absence of official government information and statistics on women-owned firms, and a frequent absence of comparability of data and definitions. Meanwhile, Heller (2010) examines continuities and transformations in Latin American women’s participation in productive activities. She proposes to characterize the particularities of the entrepreneurial activity carried out by women in selected countries, and to identify the factors that have propelled or hampered this activity in the region, from the perspective that examines the promotion of gender equity in the world of work. The workplaces special emphasis on the entrepreneurial environment.

Kantis et al. (2004) and Kantis et al. (2002) analyze the profile of entrepreneurs and the way they create high growth undertakings in some countries of Latin America, East Asia, and southern Europe. They also provide a set of case studies related to entrepreneurship development policies and programs. The results identify a set of areas and recommendations for decision makers can act in order to promote business creation and boost private-sector development. On other hand, Lederman et al. (2014) offer a synopsis of the Latin American entrepreneurial environment for innovation, addressing entrepreneurship as a source of development.

The studies that take an institutional approach, 23% are associated with female entrepreneurial activity, and 15% are associated with Latin America. Noguera et al. (2013) analyze the factors that influence female entrepreneurship in Spain. They determine that some social values could have more significant influence on female entrepreneurial activity than formal factors. The study of Alvarez and Urbano (2011) analyzes the influence of formal and informal institutions on business activity, focusing on Latin America. Alvarez and Urbano establish that informal environmental factors have more influence on entrepreneurial activity in Latin American countries than formal factors. On the same path, Capelleras and Rabetino (2008) examine the factors that influence new firm growth and conclude that entrepreneurs’ characteristics and national institutions are important drivers of economic growth in Latin America.

Regarding the economics studies, 29% are linked to Latin America, 14% concern female entrepreneurial activity, and 14% cover economic development. Acs and Amorós (2008) analyze the relationship between entrepreneurial dynamics and the level of competitiveness and conclude that entrepreneurial activity in Latin America is related to different levels of countries’ competitiveness. Likewise, Amorós and Cristi (2008) also analyze this relationship. They determine that Latin American countries must improve structural changes in entrepreneurial public policies to achieve a high level of economic growth. On the other hand, Amorós et al. (2012) measure the relationship between entrepreneurship and competitiveness. Their find that: 1) Public policies have to address factors with a greater potential according to the resources available; and 2) to reach greater development, governments need to improve macroeconomic as well as microeconomic policies of entrepreneurial activity. Castellani and Lora (2014) study the potential and limits of policies to promote entrepreneurship as a vehicle for social mobility. They suggest that in every Latin American country , different formal and informal factors (e.g., education, age, gender, income, family background, role model ) influence entrepreneurial activity and the decision to become an entrepreneur; despite those differences, entrepreneurial activity is a channel for social mobility in the region. One common factor is that entrepreneurship is gendered.

Finally, the GEM Women’s Reports (2012, 2014) offer an understanding of the environment for female entrepreneurship in Latin America and provide valuable insights. These reports focused on two elements: 1) the entrepreneurial behavior and attitudes of Latin American female entrepreneurs, and 2) the Latin American economic context and how that influences female entrepreneurship.

Quantitative analysis

 

The literature review concentrated on keywords, journals, objectives, and methodology. As a result, the main findings are shown below.

Several keywords were mentioned in the articles.[5] In Table 5, they were regrouped according to their focus on: entrepreneurship/entrepreneurialism/entrepreneurial activity (24%), institutions/institutional theory (23%), economic growth/economic development (12%), female/women entrepreneurship (8%), Latin America (4%), GEM (3%), and others (27%).

Table 5. Keywords

Keywords

%

Entrepreneurship/entrepreneurialism/entrepreneurial activity

24

Institutions/institutional theory

23

Economic growth/economic development

12

Female/women entrepreneurship

8

Latin America

4

GEM

3

Others

27

TOTAL

100

Source: Own elaboration.

Regarding journals, we found that 24% of the articles were published in Small Business Economics (impact factor: 1.795), 24% in reports from the private sector (mostly IADB and GEM), 15% in the Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development (impact factor: 0.575), and 37% published in other journals. Table 6 shows details.

Small Business Economics is the journal in which we found the largest number of published articles on the topics of female entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship and institutions, and entrepreneurship and economic growth. The reports from the private sector focused on female entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship and economic growth, with a perspective on Latin America. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal published articles about entrepreneurship and institutions and entrepreneurship and economic development.

Table 6. Journals and Reports: Published articles per year

Journal

Before 2000

2000-2002

2003-2005

2006-2008

2009-2011

2012-2014

2015-2017

TOTAL

No.

%

Small Business Economics

-

-

1

5

3

2

-

11

24

Reports (private initiatives)

-

2

1

-

3

3

2

11

24

International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal

-

-

-

3

2

2

-

7

15

Other journals

 

1

1

3

2

3

2

5

17

37

TOTAL

1

3

5

10

11

9

6

46

100

Source: Own elaboration.

We want to highlight that we found only two articles published in Latin American journals: ARLA-Academia Revista Latinoamericana de Administración (impact factor: 0.237) (Kuschel and Lepeley, 2016); and Latin American Journal of Economics (impact factor: 0.7) (Castellani and Lora, 2014).

Furthermore, we found 75 authors who have written at least one academic paper on the topics of our interest. The authors who have published the most are Urbano (six articles), Acs (four), Alvarez (four), Amorós (three), and Thurik (three). Urbano and Alvarez commonly publish together, as well as Thurik and Wennekers. Table 7 shows published articles and academic affiliation for these authors. Most articles are the product of international teams; we identified only five articles that are written by a single author: Bygrave (1989), Heller (2010), Henkerson (2007), Mattis (2004), and Wagner (2007).

Table 7. Main authors by number of published articles and their academic affiliation

AUTHOR’S NAME

Author 1

Author 2

Author 3

Author 4

TOTAL

ACADEMIC AFFILIATION

Urbano, David

1

3

1

1

6[6]

Universitat de Barcelona

Spain

Acs, Zoltan

4

-

-

-

4

George Mason University

USA

Alvarez, Claudia

1

3

-

-

4

Universitat de Barcelona

Spain

University of Medellín

Colombia

Amorós, Ernesto

2

1

-

-

3[7]

Universidad del Desarrollo

Chile

Thurik, Roy

1

-

2

-

3

Erasmus University Rotterdam

The Netherlands

Source: Own elaboration.

About the articles’ objectives, those placed in the classification of female entrepreneurial activity (44%) mostly focus on explaining the dynamics of females’ undertakings in Latin America. Works classified as entrepreneurship and institutions (28%) commonly focus on explaining the relationship between entrepreneurship and the institutional approach. Articles classified as entrepreneurship and economic development (28%) focus on explaining the link between 1-economics and entrepreneurship; 2-economics, entrepreneurship, and institutions); and 3-economics, entrepreneurship, and Latin America. Table 8 brief these results.

Table 8. Orientation of the objectives

Female Entrepreneurial Activity

No.

%

Entrepreneurship and institutions

No.

%

Entrepreneurship and economic development

No.

%

Document women entrepreneurship research

2

10

Explain entrepreneurship

1

8

Economics and entrepreneurship

4

31

Understand female entrepreneurship

4

20

Explain entrepreneurship and institutional approach

6

46

Economics and entrepreneurship and institutions

4

31

Self-employment

2

10

Document current entrepreneurship research and institutions

2

15.3

Economics and entrepreneurship and gender

1

7

Start-ups

3

15

Describe entrepreneurship and institutional approach and gender

2

15.3

Economics and entrepreneurship and Latin America

4

31

Differences between males and females

2

10

Entrepreneurship and institutional approach and Latin America

2

15.3

 

 

 

Female entrepreneurship and Latin America

7

35

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTALS

20

100

 

13

100

 

13

100

Source: Own elaboration.

On the analyzed articles, 68% are driven from databases, 26% from a wide range of literature, and 6% representing a combination of both. Primary data were used by 31% of studies, followed by use of the GEM database in combination with national or other databases (15%). Secondary data sources include national or other databases (13%) and the GEM database (9%). In all cases, the researchers use more than one statistical technique; the most common are functions and equations (29%) and regression (16%).

Table 9. Data used on the analyzed articles

Data

No.

%

Author (s)

Primary Database

14

31

Aboal and Veneri (2014); Capelleras and Rabetino (2008); GEM (2012, 2014, 2016); Heller (2010); Kantis et al. (2002, 2004); Kuschel and Lepeley (2016); Kuschel et al. (2017); Langowitz et al. (2006); Lederman et al. (2014); Mattis (2004); Weeks and Seiler (2001).

Literature Review

12

26

Acs and Szerb (2007); Acs et al. (2008); Amine and Staub (2009); Brush et al. (2009); Bruton et al. (2010); Bygrave (1989); Henkerson (2007); Jennings and Brush (2013); Peris-Ortiz et al. (2015); Thurik and Wennekers (2004); Tolbert et al. (2011); Veciana and Urbano (2008).

GEM Database and National or Other Database

7

15

Amorós and Cristi (2008); Amorós et al. (2012); Autio and Fu (2015); Díaz Casero et al. (2005); Estrin and Mickiewicz (2011); Noguera et al. (2015); van Stel et al. (2005).

National or Other Database

6

13

Acs et al. (2012); Ahl and Nelson (2015); Gurley-Calvez et al. (2009); Lofstrom and Bates (2009); Nissan et al. (2011); Wagner (2007).

GEM Database

4

9

Alvarez and Urbano (2011); Minniti and Nardone (2007); Noguera et al. (2013); Urbano and Alvarez (2014).

Literature Review, GEM Database, and National (Other) Database

3

6

Acs and Amorós (2008); Castellani and Lora (2014); Wennekers et al. (2002).

 

TOTAL

46

100

 

Source:

 

On the other hand, 59% of the articles focus on Latin America as a single region, while 35% focus on one particular sector (Latin American female entrepreneurs), and 6% concentrate on a group of countries (Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, and Peru; see Table 10).

 

Table 10. Analyzed articles focus on Latin America

Latin America as:

No.

%

Author (s)

Single Region

10

59

Aboal and Veneri (2014); Acs and Amorós (2008); Alvarez and Urbano (2011); Amorós and Cristi (2008); Amorós et al. (2012); Castellani and Lora (2014); Kantis et al. (2002, 2004); Kuschel and Lepeley (2016); Lederman et al. (2014).

Particular sector (women)

6

35

GEM (2012, 2014). Heller (2010). Lofstrom and Bates (2009); Weeks and Seiler (2001); Kuschel et al. (2017).

Group of countries

1

6

Capelleras and Rabetino (2008).

TOTAL

17

100

 

Source: Own elaboration.

Finally, related to the statistical techniques used in the articles focused on Latin America, 35% used a driven analysis, 24% used a survey method, 18% used functions and equations, and 24% used some combination of methods (Table 11). These studies were discussed above.

Table 11. Analyzed articles focus on Latin America: statistical techniques

Latin America as:

No.

%

Author (s)

Driven analysis

6

35

Aboal and Veneri (2014); Castellani and Lora (2014); Lederman et al. (2014); Kantis et al. (2002, 2004); Weeks and Seiler (2001)

Survey

4

28

Kuschel et al. (2017); Kuschel and Lepeley (2016); GEM (2014, 2012)

Functions and equations

3

18

Alvarez and Urbano (2011); Amorós and Cristi (2008); Capelleras and Rabetino (2008)

Other methods

4

28

Amorós et al. (2012); Heller (2010); Lofstrom and Bates (2009); Acs and Amorós (2008)

TOTAL

17

100

 

Source: Own elaboration.

We also explored the relationship between the level of analysis (i.e., single region, sector [women], and a group of countries) and the approaches (i.e., economic growth, female entrepreneurial activity, and institutional theory). The results showed that χ2 is 29.7 with 6 degrees of freedom and is significant at 0.00. Hence, we determined that there is a statistical association between the level of analysis and the approach. Figure 2 presents the scatter diagram between the level of analysis and the approaches. It shows that studies focused on female entrepreneurial activity are associated with a sector (women) level of analysis, while economic growth studies are associated with a single regional level of analysis, and institutional approaches are associated with a country group level of analysis.

 

Figure 1. Approach versus level of analysis

Source: Own elaboration.

We also found a statistically significant association of 0.000 (χ2 is 17.6 with 9 degrees of freedom) between the statistical techniques and the approaches used. There is also an evident relationship between female entrepreneurial activity and driven analysis techniques; as well as between the economic growth approach and the use the analyses of others (Figure 3).

Figure 2. Approach versus statistical technique

Source: Own elaboration.

Finally, Figure 4 characterizes a tridimensional representation of the studies related to Latin America. There is a clear relationship between the type of approaches, level of analysis, and database. Possible future lines of research could analyze the institutional approach and use GEM data and national databases to close the gap by providing a more detailed view of the economic approach.

Figure 3. Tridimensional representation

Source: Own elaboration.

 

CONCLUSIONS

 

Institutional approach is useful in explaining the entrepreneurial environment as well as the formal and informal factors that influence economic development in Latin America. There is increasing evidence for its use. Our study demonstrates both the prevalence of studying Latin America as a single region, and little attention to sectors (separate countries or females’ contribution to entrepreneurship).

We conclude that there is a gap in the investigation of female entrepreneurial activity and its relationship with economics in Latin America using the institutional approach. Most studies explain these topics separately or in an arrangement, such as female entrepreneurship and Latin America; entrepreneurship, institutional approach, and Latin America; or economics, entrepreneurship, and Latin America. We also found that private organizations always use their own primary data, while academics use other databases like GEM combined with other databases, and both apply a large range of research and statistical methods for data analyses.

Finally, based on the above, we settle that the forces that stimulate or hinder entrepreneurial activity and the role of gender differences among entrepreneurs remain poorly understood in Latin America, where there is an absence of official government information and statistics about female entrepreneurial activity.

However, the literature review showed that most of the available studies resulted from the initiatives of private organizations, such as IADB, GEM, WB, and ECLA, rather than from scholarly research. There is no evidence suggesting that a body of academic papers related to female entrepreneurial activity in Latin America has been published in SSCI journals.

Greater recognition of the role of female entrepreneurs could stimulate research interest in this group, with the goal of increasing overall entrepreneurial and economic activity in Latin America. To date, a considerable body of research has sought to understand the relationship between entrepreneurial activity and economic growth, including antecedents and consequences. Although this research has generated a number of important insights, it has paid scant attention to females’ contributions to economic activities. Identifying the determinants of female entrepreneurial activity will have important implications for those who formulate, deliver, and evaluate entrepreneurial policies in Latin America.

 

REFERENCES

 

Aboal, D., & Veneri, F. (2014). Entrepreneurs in Latin-America. Washington, D.C.: Inter-American Development Bank.

Acs, Z. J., & Amorós, J.E. (2008). Entrepreneurship and competitiveness dynamics in Latin America. Small Business Economics, 31 (3), 305-322.

Acs, Z.J., Audretsch, D., & Lehmann, E. (2013). The knowledge spillover theory of entrepreneurship. Revista Latinoamericana de Administración, 41 (1), 757-774.

Acs, Z.J., Audretsch, D., Braunerhjelm, P., & Carlsson, B. (2012). Growth and entrepreneurship. Small Business Economics, 39 (2), 289-300.

Acs, Z.J., Desai, S., & Hessels, J. (2008). Entrepreneurship, economic development and institutions. Small Business Economics, 31 (3), 219-234.

Acs, Z. J., & Szerb, L. (2007). Entrepreneurship, Economic Growth and Public Policy. Small Business Economics. 28. 109-122.

Ahl, H., & Nelson, T. (2015). How policy positions women entrepreneurs: A comparative analysis of state discourse in Sweden and the United States. Journal of Business Venturing, 30 (2), 273-291.

Alvarez, C., & Urbano, D. (2011). Environmental factors and entrepreneurial activity in Latin America. Small Business Economics, 48, 31-45.

Alvarez, C., Urbano, D., & Amorós, J.E. (2014). GEM research: achievements and challenges. Small Business Economics, 42 (3), 445-465.

Amine, L.S., & Staub, K.M. (2009). Women entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa: An institutional theory analysis from a social marketing point of view. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development: An International Journal, 21 (2), 183-211.

Amorós, J. E., & Cristi, O. (2008). Longitudinal analysis of entrepreneurship and competitiveness dynamics in Latin America. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 4 (4), 381-199.

Amorós, J. E., Fernández, C., & Tapia, J. (2012). Quantifying the relationship between entrepreneurship and competitiveness development stages in Latin America. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 8 (3), 249-270.

Audretsch, D., & Link, A. N. (2012). Entrepreneurship and Innovation: public policy frameworks. The Journal of Technology Transfer, 37, 1-17.

Autio, E., & Fu, K. (2015). Economic and political institutions and entry into formal and informal entrepreneurship. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 32, 67-94.

Brush C., de Bruin A., & Welter, F. (2009). A gender-aware framework for women’s entrepreneurship. International Journal Gender Entrepreneurship, 1 (1), 8–24.

Bruton, G. D., Ahlstrom, D., & Li, H. L. (2010). Institutional theory and entrepreneurship: where are we now and where do we need to move in the future?. Entrepreneurship theory and practice, 34(3), 421-440.

Bygrave, W. (1989). The Entrepreneurship Paradigm (I): A Philosophical Look at Its Research Methodologies. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 14 (1), 7-26.

Capelleras, J-L., & Rabetino, R. (2008). Individual, organizational and environmental determinants of new firm employment growth: evidence from Latin America. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 4 (1), 79-99.

Castellani, F., & Lora, E. (2014). Is Entrepreneurship a Channel for Social Mobility in Latin America?. Latin American Journal of Economics, 51 (2), 179-194.

Díaz Casero, J. C., Urbano Pulido, D., & Hernández Mogollón, R. (2005). Teoría económica institucional y creación de empresas. Investigaciones Europeas de Dirección y Economía de la Empresa, 11 (3), 1135-2533.

DiMaggio, P. J. 1991. Constructing an organizational eld as a professional project: U.S. art museums, 1920–1940. W. W. Powell, P. J. DiMaggio, eds. The New Institutionalism in Organizational Analysis. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 267–292.

Estrin, S., & Mickiewicz, T. (2011). Institutions and female entrepreneurship. Small Business Economics, 37, 397-415.

GEM. (2012). Global Entrepreneur Monitor, Special Women’s Report. Babson Park, MA, London, UK: Babson College and London Business School.

GEM. (2014). Global Entrepreneur Monitor, Special Women’s Report. Babson Park, MA, London, UK: Babson College and London Business School.

GEM. (2016). Global Entrepreneur Monitor. Babson Park, MA, London, UK: Babson College and London Business School.

Heller, L. (2010). Mujeres emprendedoras en América Latina y el Caribe: realidades, obstáculos y desafíos. Santiado de Chile: División de Asuntos de Género, CEPAL.

Henkerson, M. (2007). Entrepreneurship and Institutions. Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal, 28 (4). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1006253.

Jennings, J. E., & Brush, C. (2013). Research on woman entrepreneurship: Challenges to (and from) the Broader Entrepreneurship Literature?. The Academy of Management Annals, 7 (1), 661-713.

Kantis, H., V.M. Koening., & Angelelli, P. (2004). Developing entrepreneurship: Experience in Latin America and worldwide. Washington, D.C: Inter-American Development Bank.

Kantis, H., Mashaiko, I., & Mashaiko, K. (2002). Empresarialidad en economías emergentes: Creación y desarrollo de nuevas empresas en América Latina y el Este de Asia: Resumen. Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo, Departamento de Desarrollo Sostenible, Subdepartamento de Empresa Privada y Mercados Financieros, División de Micro, Pequeña y Mediana Empresa.

Kuschel, K., & Lepeley, M.T. (2016). Copreneurial women in start-ups Growth-oriented or lifestyle? An aid for technology industry investors. Academia Revista Latinoamericana de Administración, 29 (2), 181-197.

Kuschel, K., Lepeley, M.T., Espinosa, F., & Gutiérrez, S. (2017). Funding challenges of Latin American women start-up founders in the technology industry. Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, 24 (2), 310-331.

Langowitz, N., Sharpe, N., & Godwyn, M. (2006). Women’s business centers in the United States: effective entrepreneurship training and policy implementation. Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, 19 (2), pp. 167–181.

Lederman, D., Messina, J., Pienknagura, S. & Rigolini, J. (2014). Enmprendimiento en América Latina. Muchas empresas y poca innovación. Washington, D.C.: Banco Mundial.

Lofstrom, M., & Bates, T. (2009). Latina Entrepreneurship. Small Business Economics, 33, 427-439.

Mattis, M.C. (2004). Women entrepreneurs: out from under the glass ceiling. Women in Management Review, 19 (3), 154-163.

Minniti, M., & Nardone, C. (2007). Being in someone else’s shoes: the role of gender in nascent entrepreneurship. Small Business Economics, 28 (2–3), 223–239.

Nissan, E., Galindo-Martín, M.A., & Méndez-Picasso, M.T. (2011). Relationship between organizations, institutions, entrepreneurship and economic growth process. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 7 (3), 311-324.

Noguera, M., Alvarez, C., Merigó, J., & Urbano, D. (2015). Determinants of female entrepreneurship in Spain: an institutional approach. Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory, 21, 341-355.

Noguera, M., Alvarez, C., & Urbano, D. (2013). Socio-cultural factors and female entrepreneurship. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 9 (2), 183-197.

North, D. (1990). Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance. Cambridge Univ. Press.

Peris-Ortiz, M., Rueda-Armengot, C., & Benito-Osorio, D. (2015). Women in business: entrepreneurship, ethics and efficiency. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 8, 343-354.

Thurik, R., & Wennekers, S. (2004). Entrepreneurship, small business and economic growth. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 11 (1), 140-149.

Tolbert, P., David, R., & Sine, W. (2011). Studying Choice and Change: The Intersection of Institutional Theory and Entrepreneurship Research. Organization Science, 22 (5), 1332-1344.

Urbano, D., & Alvarez, C. (2014). Institutional dimensions and entrepreneurial activity: an international study. Small Business Economics, 41 (4), 703-716.

van Stel, A., Carree, M., & Thurik, R. (2005). “The Effect of Entrepreneurial Activity on National Economic Growth”. Small Business Economics, 24 (3), 311-321.

Veciana, J.M., & Urbano, D. (2008). The institutional approach to entrepreneurship research. Introduction. International Entrepreneurship Management Journal, 4, 365-379.

Wagner, J. (2007). What a difference a Y makes -female and male nascent entrepreneurs in Germany. Small Business Economics, 28 (1), 1-21.

Weeks, J., & Seiler, D. (2001). Women´s Entrepreneurship in Latin-America: An Exploration of Current Knowledge. Washington, D.C.: Inter-American Development Bank.

Wennekers, S., Uhlaner, L., & Thurik, R. (2002). Entrepreneurship and its conditions: a macro perspective. International Journal of Entrepreneurship Education, 1 (1), 25-65.

 

 



[1] Autora corresponsal. Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica, Escuela de Administración de Empresas, Calle 15, Avenida 141 km Sur de la Basílica de los Ángeles, Cartago, COSTA RICA.

[2] Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, Departamento de Empresa, Plaça Cívica, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, ESPAÑA.

[3] These reports are considered due to their methodological rigor.

[4] CEPAL (Comisión Económica para América Latina).

 

[5] Keywords are not mentioned in reports.

[6] Two are related to Latin America and were written with Alvarez.

[7] All of them are strictly related to Latin America.

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Catalogs and Indexes:

       IndexCopernicus

Plagiarism analysis by: