Gender, Culture and Entrepreneurship in Kenya

  •  Esther N. Mungai    
  •  Madara Ogot    


This study looked into how different cultural factors affect gender involvement in entrepreneurship in a multi-ethnic country, Kenya. A majority of previous similar studies have been done in Western, developed societies where national cultures have evolved and have dominated the literature on the ‘cultural perspective’ on gender and entrepreneurship. In the majority of sub-Saharan countries, ethnic cultures play a more dominant role in moulding the values and perceptions of its citizens than national cultures. The differential rate of gender involvement was compared among four Kenyan ethnic groups namely Luo, Kikuyu, Kalenjin and Kamba. A significant outcome of the study, is that there were neither significant gender differences on community perception of entrepreneurship nor the extent on the presence (or absence) of personality traits associated with entrepreneurship. From the study, it appears that for the communities studied, ethnic cultural influences play a larger role in women’s propensities towards entrepreneurship and their view of their community perception towards the same, than does gender. This is pronounced even when men and women from the same communities are compared along the same dimensions.

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