Session Type: PDW Workshop
Program Session: 22 | Submission: 17045 | Sponsor(s): (AFAM, ENT, GDO, MSR)
Session Format: In-person Only: Seattle
Scheduled: Friday, Aug 5 2022 8:00AM - 10:00AM PT (UTC-7) at Sheraton Grand Seattle in Boren
Religion and Women Entrepreneurship Interaction COVID-19 Sub Saharan Africa Latin America South Pacific
Religion Women Entrepreneurship Africa
InternationalTheme: Creating a Better World TogetherDiversity

Participant: Caren Brenda Scheepers, U. Pretoria Gordon Institute of Business Science
Participant: Anastacia Mamabolo, GIBS / U. of Pretoria
Participant: Ethne Swartz, Montclair State U.
Participant: Ofer Zwikael, Australian National U.
Participant: Nasima Mohamed Hoosen Carrim, GDO
Participant: Birgit Muskat, Australian National U.
Participant: Daniela Alejandra Gimenez Jimenez, TU Dortmund U.
Our PDW focuses on the Interaction of Religion and Women Entrepreneurship during the time of an unprecedented global pandemic – Covid-19. We center our attention on three emerging market regions, namely Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), and the South Pacific region. This PDW involves women entrepreneurship scholars from these three regions, four continents, and five countries. UN Women (2020) shows that the economic crisis due to the global Covid-19 lockdown regulations disproportionately affects women entrepreneurs, even though males were initially more severely affected by the health effects of Covid-19 (Manolova, Brush, Edelman, & Elam 2020). Our PDW endeavors to deeper understand this phenomenon, namely its severe impact on women entrepreneurship and, in particular, how religion and formal religious institutions interacted with women entrepreneurs’ resilience and sustainability of women-owned entrepreneurial businesses in the three regions. We pay attention to the injustice of global inequalities of developed and developing countries’ access to Covid-19 vaccines and resources, like Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and government funding in buffering against the devastating financial impact of lockdown restrictions. We draw on the seminal work of Kloosterman et al. (1999), who introduced an interactionist perspective and applied the mixed embeddedness approach of perceiving women entrepreneurs as simultaneously being embedded in their social networks as well as the broader political, economic, social, cultural, and in particular - religious structures of their external context. Relating to Covid-19, we hone in on the role of religion as an informal institution (referring to North, 1990) in the form of global membership bodies with vast resources and their local socio-emotional and even financial support for women entrepreneurs in the three regions. We aim to show how the Catholic, Pentecostal Christian Church, Islamic, Jewish, and other denominations could collaborate with central and local government and civil society to offer integrated socio-emotional and financial support for women entrepreneurs in the three regions. A recent survey from the Diana International Research Institute (DIRI) of Babson College on women-owned businesses during Covid-19 found that contrary to assumptions predicting that women entrepreneurs will primarily adjust their business models to reduce risk, women entrepreneurs moved very quickly to capture new business opportunities resulting from the crisis and change in circumstance (Manolova et al. 2020). Building on New Institutional Theory (North, 1990; Scott, 2013), we highlight religion as an informal institution. Religion provides a sense of meaning by shaping women's entrepreneurial roles and choice of business (traditionally female activities such as retail and foodservice versus non-traditional activities such as engineering or manufacturing). In addition, the normative pillar of the religion, focusing on shared roles and expectations, emphasizes the role of social capital in conferring women’s access to funding and available business networks. The three regions under discussion represent the world’s major religions (Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Pentecostal and Catholicism traditions, and traditional African and indigenous religions) and offer an opportunity for deeper exploration of the influence of these informal institutions on women's entrepreneurial leadership. Using Welter's (2011) contextual entrepreneurship framework, we consider the impact of socio-spatial geographical regions and postcolonial periods with the resultant patriarchal traditional religious norms on women entrepreneurship in the three regions. Our research question revolves around how religion interacted with women's entrepreneurship in these three regions during Covid-19. Aligned with the 82nd Annual AOM theme for 2022 on “creating a better world”, our PDW endeavors to enhance the considered response of women entrepreneurs, pivot business models, and create new markets in response to the Covid-19 crisis. We endeavor to advise policymakers, government, global aid, and religious institutions on tailored recovery support for women entrepreneurship in developing countries. Our PDW offers an opportunity for AOM scholars to participate in building a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem for women entrepreneurs in these three regions to enhance recovery from the impact of Covid-19, advance gender equality, and create a better just world specifically for women in emerging markets.
KEY TO SYMBOLS Teaching-oriented Teaching-oriented   Practice-oriented Practice-oriented   International-oriented International-oriented   Theme-oriented Theme-oriented   Research-oriented Research-oriented   Teaching-oriented Diversity-oriented
Selected as a Best Paper Selected as a Best Paper