Women’s entrepreneurial journeys through tourism in Sub-Saharan Africa

Women’s Entrepreneurial Journeys Through Tourism in Sub-Saharan Africa

Entrepreneurship within the tourism industry is often presented as a way to enhance gender equality in Official Development Assistance (ODA) countries within Sub Saharan Africa. This is because tourism entrepreneurship is thought to offer women avenues for economic independence and leadership, within an industry that has a predominance of small firms and low entry barriers.  And yet, there are significant gendered barriers influencing women’s potential to benefit from tourism entrepreneurship.

Women, for example, are less likely to follow sequential steps in business, in consequence to interrupted careers and family caring roles. Women are also more likely to experience workplace discrimination, stereotyping, and promotion inequities. Whilst important work has taken place in this area in recent years, it has tended to take a Global North focus, despite recognition regarding the importance of cultural context to entrepreneurial experience. As such, this study advanced understanding of women’s experiences of tourism entrepreneurship, by taking focus with Ghana and Nigeria to examine how spatial contexts influence gendered entrepreneurial pathways.

Aims and Objectives

The objectives of this project are:

  • Analyse women’s pathways in tourism entrepreneurship to determine how the specificities of place shape women’s participation in entrepreneurship
  • Develop evidence-based policy and practice recommendations to foster women’s entrepreneurship in tourism in Ghana and Nigeria
  • Foster partnerships between UK and African institutions and develop the capabilities of participating researchers

Project Team and Partners

Principal Investigator:

Albert Kimbu, University of Surrey



Anna de Jong, University of Glasgow

Ewoenam Afenyo-Agbe, University of Cape Coast

Ogechi Adeola, Lagos Business School, Pan-Atlantic University

Cristina Figueroa-Domecq, University of Surrey

Manuel Alector Ribeiro, University of Surrey

Project Publications and Links

  • Kimbu, A., de Jong, A., Afenyo-Agbe, E., Adeola, O., Adam, I., Figueroa-Domecq, C. & Ribeiro, M. (In review). Recontextualising gender in entrepreneurial leadership. Annals of Tourism Research.
  • Ribeiro, M., Adam, I., Kimbu, A., Afenyo-Agbe, E., Adeola, O., Figueroa-Domecq, C. & de Jong, A. (In review). Women entrepreneurship orientation, networks and firm performance in the tourism industry in resource-scarce contexts. Tourism Management.