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Conference paper Conference paper Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Women in Business: Class and Nairobi's Small-Scale Producers
Author:McCormick, DorothyISNI
Notes:Paper presented at the 34th Annual Conference of the African Studies Association (ASA), November 23-26, 1991, St. Louis, Missouri. Atlanta. Emory University. Paper #64
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:social classes
women entrepreneurs
small enterprises
Labor and Employment
Abstract:Small enterprise studies usually ignore business owners' social class, implicitly or explicitly assuming class differences to be minimal or unimportant. Yet a study of small-scale manufacturing in Nairobi, Kenya, conducted by the author in 1986, suggested that, for the women business owners at least, class was not irrelevant. Poor women suffered from lack of business opportunity, while middle class women outperformed their petty bourgeois counterparts. A follow-up study in 1989-1990 attempted to refine and apply the analysis to a single industry, garment production. Preliminary results show little relationship between class and business performance. This paper compares the notions of class used in the two studies and raises theoretical and methodological questions essential to analysing the implications of class for small-enterprise performance.