Entrepreneurial success through microfinance services among women entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka and effect of their ethnicity

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Author: 
Kingsley Bernard, D.T. and LOW Lock Teng, Kevin
Abstract: 

There is a clear opportunity for researching the entrepreneurial success of women utilizing microfinance services and to evaluate the degree of influence exerted by each of these services on the entrepreneurial success of Sri Lankan women entrepreneurs who are mostly poor (Bernard, 2015). Further, it is observed that there is a strong belief among microfinance practitioners and experts in Sri Lanka that there is an effect of ethnicity on the relationship between microfinance services and entrepreneurial success of these women. This research studies the influence of microfinance services on the entrepreneurial success of Sri Lankan women of low income categories. Five microfinance services namely, microcredit, micro-savings, micro-insurance, business support and skills development programmes have been identified through literature among other services (Bernard, 2015, Bruton et al., 2011; Khavul et al., 2013). Rankin (2001) states that as an example, women of South Asian countries, show that caste, ethnicity, and class are social distinctions that might preclude them from viewing their interests with other women. Since, solidarity group concept is one key attribute in microfinance, it could be expected that ethnicity would exert some influence on entrepreneurial success of women using microfinance services. Therefore, this study has also tested whether there is any moderating effect of ethnicity of these women on the relationship between microfinance services and their entrepreneurial success. The results have discovered that microcredit, micro-savings and skills-development have a positive relationship with entrepreneurial success of women, while micro-insurance and business support have not shown a significant relationship. Further, ethnicity of these women entrepreneurs has shown a moderating effect on the relationship of women belong to Tamil ethnic group between micro-insurance and entrepreneurial success compared to that of women belong to Sinhalese ethnic group (Sinhalese, Tamil and Moors (Muslims) are the three major ethnic groups in Sri Lanka). Further, moderating effect on this relationship between micro-insurance and entrepreneurial success is positive.

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