What is a business woman? View from the micro-economy of a Bolivian city
Faculty of Regional Professional Studies
School of Regional Professional Studies Deans Office
If entrepreneurs are society's innovators, what is the role of businesspeople in poor countries - particularly, the small-scale businesspeople that make up the majority? In Sucre, Bolivia, many women are independent business owners, recognised as such by their spouses, families and people in their community. Does their role as businesswomen mean they can act as forces for positive, locally driven economic change - despite the small scale and relative poverty in which they work? Case studies collected over a period of six years suggest that women's businesses (as well as men's) generally have very limited ability to effect economic change in Sucre's poor economy. The constraints which businesses face in an environment like Sucre are great. However, women's recognised role as businesspeople does mean that they can control resources, take advantage of opportunities, and gradually stimulate change.