Factors Influencing the Performance of Small and Medium Enterprises: The Case of Women Owned Enterprises in Sebeta Town

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The aim of this study was to examine factors influencing performance of female owned enterprises in Sebeta town, Ethiopia. The study sought to determine how socio-economic characteristics, social networks, entrepreneurial orientation, and government support influence the performance of women owned enterprises in Ethiopia. The design of this research was a descriptive survey research. The population of interest was 248 registered female owned entrepreneurs in the manufacturing sector of Sebeta town. Simple random sampling technique was used to select 248 respondents. Primary data was obtained using self-administered questionnaires analyzed by descriptive statistics such as frequencies, percentages, mean scores and standard deviations using statistical package for social sciences SPSS (V. 22.0). The study also interviewed 20 female owners/managers of the firms. The qualitative data took a conceptual content analysis process. The data was then presented using frequency tables. The study established that membership in women groups is very important for success of female owned enterprises since it helps women to access market information, capital for their business, market through the group’s membership. The study also deduced that risk taking in the businesses is key for the better performance of the enterprise. The study concludes that social network and risk taking variable of entrepreneurial orientation had the greatest effect on performance of female owned enterprises in Sebeta Town. The study therefore recommends that the government and other women empowerment bodies should encourage women to join membership in women groups. By being in membership groups‟ women should be able to access market information, capital for their business and market. The study also recommends that female entrepreneurs in Sebeta Town should be committed to identifying new opportunities. They should also aim at allocating its resources to deal with an emerging opportunity or threat. The study finally recommends government support such as training be organized for women entrepreneurs on formal business management skills such as marketing, human resource management, record management, problem solving and planning.



Small and Medium Enterprises; influencing factors, performance