Negotiating Business and Family Demands within a Patriarchal Society - The Case of Women Entrepreneurs in the Nepalese Context

Journal Article
Published on 1 April 2019


The aim of this paper, published in Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, is to advance our understanding of how women negotiate their business and family demands in a developing country context. The highest cited motivation for women’s pursuit of entrepreneurship has been their need to attend to these demands. Yet, empirically we know little about the negotiating actions taken by, and the business satisfaction of women in the context of both livelihood challenges and patriarchal contexts, despite several scholarly calls for contextualized accounts of women’s entrepreneurship. Xheneti, Thapa Karki and Madden (2018) explore these issues by employing a qualitative study of 90 women engaged in primarily informal entrepreneurial activities in three Nepalese regions. Their findings highlight three main and interrelated themes – negotiating consent, family resource access and gaining status. These themes allow them to contextualize the process of negotiating business and family demands by highlighting how women legitimize their business activities, respond to family/societal expectations and mobilize support for, and find satisfaction in their business. Overall, their study contributes towards accounts of business–family interface that incorporate the everyday practices of entrepreneurial activities amongst those less privileged in terms of resource access in particular sociocultural contexts.


Mirela Xheneti

University of Sussex

Shova Thapa Karki

University of Sussex

Adrian Madden

Huddersfield University