Gendered Institutions Matter: A middle ground between feminist and gender-blind perspectives on enterprise development

Thursday 4 Jun 2020, 13:00 - 15:00
PhD defence
Spoken Language
This defence will take place online
International Institute of Social Studies
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The PhD defences will not take place publicly in the Auditorium due to the coronavirus. The candidates will defend their thesis online.

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On 4 June 2020, Saskia Vossenberg will defend her PhD thesis entitled 'Gendered Institutions Matter: A middle ground between feminist and gender-blind perspectives on enterprise development'

In her thesis, Saskia examines the interactions between informal gendered institutions, women’s entrepreneurial logics and the emancipatory effects of market innovations on women’s enterprise development in Malawi.

The research is 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).

Doctoral board


Professor Inge Hutter

Doctoral dissertation supervisor

Professor Peter Knorringa


Dr Georgina Gómez

Members of the Full Doctoral Committee

Professor Joy Clancy, University of Twente

Professor Wim Naudé, Maastricht University

Dr Nicky Pouw, University of Amsterdam

Professor Marleen Dekker, Leiden University

Dr Karin Astrid Siegmann, ISS

Professor Bert Helmsing, ISS

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