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Short Title

Gender and Social Networks in Microenterprise

Abstract

Why are some people more successful than others in starting new businesses? Are women more or less successful than men? This study investigates relationships among gender, social networks, and microenterprise business performance. It examines existing theories and research on gender differences in social networks and whether gender differences affect female micro-entrepreneurs’ business performance. The purpose of this study is to help U.S. Microenterprise Development Programs create strategies to enhance the ability of female micro-entrepreneurs to gain economic benefits from their social networks. The paper identifies key gaps in theory, proposes an alternative research framework, and suggests directions for future research and policy and program development.

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