Female entrepreneurship in Asia: a critical review and future directions

Sonja Franzke, Jie Wu, Fabian Jintae Froese* (Corresponding Author), Zi Xuan Chan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


Female entrepreneurs contribute substantially to economic growth in Asia. Despite their economic success, we know relatively little about them. This article presents a comprehensive review of female entrepreneurs in Asia, focusing on how they differ from their counterparts in the West, along four dimensions: female entrepreneurs’ unique characteristics, their distinct intentions, their constraints on resources, and their management styles. Our analysis revealed striking differences between female entrepreneurs in Asia and those in the West but also substantial heterogeneity within Asia. In developing Asian countries, female entrepreneurs often have a low level of education and work in the informal sector, driven by economic necessity, whereas many female entrepreneurs in transitioning/developed Asian countries are highly educated and work in high-growth industries. Culture and different religions, e.g., Islam and Hinduism, are major sources of constraints for the education and financing of female entrepreneurs in Asia. Family ties play a key role in the leadership style of female entrepreneurs in Asia. The review and analysis have important implications for future research and entrepreneurial practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-372
Number of pages30
JournalAsian Business & Management
Issue number3
Early online date16 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL.


  • Female entrepreneurship
  • Cultural values
  • Religion
  • Entrepreneurial intention
  • Leadership
  • Asia


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