Determinants of women's microenterprise success in India: Empowerment and economics

Paula Kantor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Microenterprise success is often evaluated solely in terms of economic outcomes. These evaluations do not recognize how opportunities for success may differ across groups and contexts, and disregard the importance of power and control as factors in success. This article investigates the determinants of a two-dimensional concept of microenterprise success for women in Ahmedabad, India, by analyzing data from a 1998 study of home-based garment producers. Growing economic success for these garment producers decreased empowerment outcomes, which suggests that evaluating both economic and empowerment outcomes and their interactions is important to understanding the process of achieving success. Improving the economic outcomes of women's enterprises via better training and access to markets, credit, and capital equipment does not necessarily facilitate women's empowerment. Microenterprise scholars and practitioners must focus on improving women's status within their homes, so they may contribute to and benefit from the decisions made about how to use their resources.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-83
Number of pages21
JournalFeminist Economics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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