|dc.description.abstract||Aim: The purpose of the study was to determine the relationship of gender, owner
characteristics (owner age, motivation, education level, skills and experience,
hours worked per day and family ownership) and business characteristics
(business location and business sector) on business performance in Zimbabwe.
Materials and Methods: Data was obtained from the Finscope national survey
population of 1622 business owners. An Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) multiple
regression model was used to determine the relationship between gender, owner
and business characteristics and business performance.
Findings: The findings indicate that gender has no significant influence on
business performance. Owner characteristics (owner age, motivation, education
level, skills and experience and hours worked per day) and business
characteristics (business location and business sector) were found to have a
significant influence on business performance. The findings do provide some
support for both liberal and social feminist theories. As to liberal feminist theory,
findings indicate that gender differences in education levels and skills and
experience partly explain the differences on business performance. Whilst, social
feminist theory is based on the premise that male and female socialisation
process is different, these inherent differences like gender roles at work and home
between males and females lead to differences in business performance.
Zimbabwean female business owners are still disadvantaged relative to their male
counterparts in business performance.
Recommendations: There is need for a comprehensive study on factors
determining the performance of female business owners, particularly in the prestart-up
and start-up phases as this would be beneficial. It would be ideal in future to conduct a qualitative inquiry or a mixed methods study that could include the
voices of men and women in order to appreciate the lived experiences||en