Female Entrepreneurial Motivation in Urban and Rural Kenya - A qualitative study examining the differences in female entrepreneurial motivation in urban and rural areas in Kenya

University essay from Handelshögskolan i Stockholm/Institutionen för företagande och ledning; Handelshögskolan i Stockholm/Institutionen för marknadsföring och strategi

Abstract: Female entrepreneurship has for a long time been proven to be a driving factor of economic development, especially in developing countries such as Kenya. Moreover, economic development can be further enhanced by reducing urban and rural disparities in entrepreneurial opportunities in order to liberate the full potential productivity in all areas. Although some research has been done in the area of female entrepreneurship, a theoretical gap still persists. Followingly, the purpose of this thesis is to shed additional light on female entrepreneurial motivations in rural and urban areas in Kenya in order to reduce the research gap and create insights that might stimulate the Kenyan economy through increased female entrepreneurship. This purpose is embodied by the research question of "What underlying factors motivate women in Nairobi and Kiambu to pursue a career as entrepreneurs, and do they differ?". Ajzen's Theory of Planned Behaviour has laid the basis for the thesis, and has been further strengthened by Alderfer's ERG-theory and a gender perspective. A qualitative study with 16 semi-structured interviews and observations was used to examine the women's entrepreneurial motivations in the two areas. The analysis finds that the motivation differs to a large extent in Nairobi and Kiambu. Women in Nairobi are motivated by self-fulfilment and find support in a professional network, while women in Kiambu are more motivated by religious faith, family support and an aspiration to acquire more freedom. Finally, a further discussion is held, outside the direct scope of the study, showing that Nairobi is similar to Tönnies's 'Gesellschaft', incentivising entrepreneurial behaviour to become more individualistic, while Kiambu, similar to a 'Gemeinschaft', influences the entrepreneurial behaviour to become more traditional.

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