Enterprising Women in Urban Zimbabwe: Gender, Microbusiness, and Globalization

Enterprising Women in Urban Zimbabwe: Gender, Microbusiness, and Globalization


By (author) Mary Johnson Osirim

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  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 226mm x 24mm | 599g
  • Publication date: 6 August 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Bloomington, IN
  • ISBN 10: 0253353475
  • ISBN 13: 9780253353474
  • Illustrations note: Illustrations, maps
  • Sales rank: 1,337,284

Product description

Mary Johnson Osirim investigates the business and personal experiences of women entrepreneurs in Harare and Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, to understand their successes, challenges, and contributions to development. These businesswomen work in the microenterprise sector - which is defined as businesses that employ five workers or fewer - with many working as market traders, crocheters, seamstresses, and hairdressers. The women who took part in Osirim's research pursued their businesses, reinvested profits, engaged in innovation, and provided employment, and through their work supported households and extended family and social networks. Osirim finds that, despite major problems, the Zimbabwean businesswomen maintained their enterprises and their households and managed to contribute in significant ways to their community and national development. "Enterprising Women in Urban Zimbabwe" advances the literature on gender and development, offering a comprehensive study of women's role as entrepreneurs in the microeconomic sector that shows them as agents during challenging political and economic times.

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Author information

Mary Johnson Osirim is Professor of Sociology and co-director of the Center for International Studies at Bryn Mawr College.

Review quote

"A major contribution in the field of women's entrepreneurship in Africa." Nancy Horn, World Vision

Table of contents

1. Introduction; 2. Shaping the Discourse on Women, Development and the Microenterprise Sector: The Feminist Political Economy Paradigm and the Modern History of Zimbabwe; 3. Market Traders: Persisting against Difficult Odds; 4. Crocheters and Knitters: Creativity and Innovation in Production; 5. Hairdressers and Seamstresses: Higher Status in the Microenterprise Sector?; 6. Entrepreneurship, the State, and the Development of Civil Society; 7. Conclusion