Entrepreneurial Competences and Growth of Female-owned Enterprises: The Mediation Role of Absorptive Capacity

Samuel Dawa, Rebecca Namatovu, Fiona Mulira, Sarah Kyejjusa, Mercy Arinaitwe, Alice Arinaitwe

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose
Focusing on female entrepreneurs operating in a resource-scarce environment, this study aims to draw from the resource-based view to examine the relationship between entrepreneurial competences and firm growth.

Design/methodology/approach
This study used a cross-sectional research design. Data was collected from 232 women entrepreneurs operating in Kampala’s two biggest markets. The data were analyzed to test the mediation effect of absorptive capacity on the relationship between entrepreneurial competences and firm growth; a Sobel test and bootstrap estimation were analytical approaches that were used.

Findings
This paper argues that for female entrepreneurs, the venture growth process is not simply dependent on inimitable resources such as competences, as these are first not readily available to female entrepreneurs and second, only provide a temporary competitive advantage. Rather, venture growth also involves the ability to continuously identify and exploit knowledge resources through an absorptive capacity that may be limited by the sociocultural context within which the female entrepreneur operates in sub-Saharan Africa.

Originality/value
The novelty of this research resides in support for the mediating role of the ability to recognize the value of new information, assimilate it and apply it to commercial ends. This study shows that female entrepreneurs use externally generated knowledge as a mechanism to grow their firms and this is impacted by the sociocultural context within which they operate. The study further improves the understanding of the resource-based view by suggesting that a black box exists in the relationship between resources and performance. It is shown that the possession of one resource facilitates the acquisition of other resources and proposes that the role of resources continuously unfolds as a firm develops.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship
Number of pages20
ISSN1756-6266
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Epub ahead of print. Published online: 4 March 2021

Keywords

  • Absorptive capacity
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Growth
  • Female entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurial competencies

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