Gender variations in the reasons for engaging in informal sector entrepreneurship: some lessons from urban Brazil
by Colin C. Williams; Kwame Adom; Sara Nadin; Youssef A. Youssef
International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business (IJESB), Vol. 17, No. 4, 2012

Abstract: To evaluate whether entrepreneurs participate in the informal economy due to either their involuntary 'exclusion' from, or voluntary 'exit' from, the formal economy, a 2003 survey of the reasons for engaging in informal sector entrepreneurship in urban Brazil. The finding is that although similar proportions participate in informal sector entrepreneurship for exclusion as exit rationales, women do so more commonly due to their involuntary 'exclusion' from the formal economy and men more due to their decision to voluntary 'exit' the formal economy. The outcome is a call to shift from an either/or to a both/and approach when explaining informal sector entrepreneurship and for wider research on the weightings attached to exit and exclusion in different spatial contexts so as to develop a spatially contingent explanation of how men's and women's reasons for participating in informal sector entrepreneurship differ across the globe.

Online publication date: Sat, 16-Aug-2014

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