From Attention to Action: Entrepreneurial Networks and Performance of Women-Owned Enterprises: A Theoretical Review

  •  Rachael Wambui    
  •  Stephen Muathe    


In the contemporary business context, the firm’s attractiveness and growth potential are demonstrated by its performance among other factors. Research has shown that women owned enterprises that utilize networking avenues to advance their businesses results in significant firm performance. Thus the objectives for the study were to discuss the key constructs of entrepreneurial networking and performance of women owned enterprises, to review theories that link entrepreneurial networking and performance, to recommend a conceptual framework that guides future studies on the highlighted knowledge gaps, and to recommend a methodological framework for future study. The study was anchored on Resource Based View, Dynamic Capability Theory, Social Capital, and Structural hole theory. The study was a desktop review of global theories related to entrepreneurial networking and performance in of women owned enterprises. Further, the empirical review was based on cross-sectional studies that explored entrepreneurial networking and performance of women owned enterprises. The studies reviewed were mainly conducted in the last ten years in developing nations in Africa and other parts of the world. The limitation of this study is that it only provides secondary data on existing studies on entrepreneurial networking and the performance of women owned enterprises. The findings indicated that these studies were convergent on the direct relationship between entrepreneurial networks and performance. A conceptual gap identified was the lack of moderating and mediating variables. The study recommended that future studies should incorporate, dynamic capabilities as a mediating variable and the business operating environment as moderating variable. Such studies should adopt explanatory non-experimental and descriptive research designs in collecting primary data which is crucial for filling the knowledge gaps identified in this study. Finally, a constructionist approach is proposed since the study seeks to add knowledge in the women entrepreneurship realm.

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