Journal article

Perceptions of financial sources among women entrepreneurs in Tanzania


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Publication Details


Publication year: 2015

Start page: 197

End page: 218

Number of pages: 22

ISSN: 2040-0705



Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate how women entrepreneurs in Tanzania assess their accessibility to different external financial sources. The aim is further to discuss financial preferences among this group of entrepreneurs. Design/methodology/approach – The study is based on a unique database consisting of 114 firms, obtained by a questionnaire during 2009-2010. Differences between mean values on perceptions of financial sources were tested via a paired samples t-test. Findings – Overall, the empirical results provide support for the hypothesis that the sampled women entrepreneurs perceive semi-formal capital, such as loans from MFIs, SACCOS, ROSCAS and VICOBA, as the most accessible external capital. Governmental subsidies are ranked second, followed by informal capital, such as loans from family, friends and investors. As expected, loans from formal banks are ranked as the least accessible financing alternative. However, there are strong indications that the entrepreneurs in our study, if given a choice, would prefer external capital from formal sources, rather than semi-formal or informal capital. Practical implications – The authors suggest that the formal banks work to find ways to lower agency costs and thereby work for an inclusion of women entrepreneurs, and for the semi-formal financial actors to improve financial services in ways that better serve the entrepreneurs. Originality/value – The knowledge about attitudes and preferences concerning financial solutions among women entrepreneurs in developing countries is very limited. Results from this study is therefore important, as it adds to previous understanding, especially as this particular group of entrepreneurs have the potential to play an important role in the development of their regions. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.


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