PhD defence of Saskia Vossenberg
On Thursday 4 June, Saskia Vossenberg defended her thesis entitled: 'Gendered Institutions Matter: A middle ground between feminist and gender-blind perspectives on enterprise development'. Due to the coronavirus, the PhD defence was not open for the public, who could follow it on-line.
In her thesis, Saskia examined the interactions between informal gendered institutions, women’s entrepreneurial logics and the emancipatory effects of market innovations on women’s enterprise development in Malawi.
Her research was motivated by the concern that enterprise development policy and practice is mainly informed by research which, by design, excludes the role of informal gendered rules and expectations, considers female entrepreneurs a homogenous group, and assumes emancipatory effects of market innovations on the lives and businesses of women, rather than actually theorizing or empirically measuring such effects.
This thesis draws on secondary data and primary qualitative data collected from 36 female entrepreneurs operating micro and small businesses in rural and urban Malawi. The female entrepreneurs were selected because they use market innovation to grow their business and have different household positions (e.g. single, married, divorced or widowed).