Entrepreneurs Perceived Impact of Covid-19 On Businesses: Does Gender Matter?
Keywords:COVID-19, firms, Entrepreneurs, Gender
The widespread of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected world economies immensely. In the case of Ghana, small businesses became vulnerable to supply and demand shocks which inhibited normal economic activity. The purpose of this study was to analyze the differences in the perceived effect of the COVID-19 crisis on small businesses as regards gender, using a sample size of 508 Ghanaian small firms (280 male-owned and 228 female-owned firms). With disparities in social systems, the nature of social roles associated with men and women, especially in developing countries, and the degree of risk sensitivity and emotions of women, gender was considered as a demographic variable to provide a fundamental understanding of differences in the perceived impact of COVID-19 on small businesses. The study adopted a cross-sectional and quantitative survey covering micro-entrepreneurs in Ghana. Data was collected online through the use of Google forms and was analyzed with the aid of Predictive Analytics Software. The findings demonstrated strong evidence that female-owned small firms differ significantly from male-owned small firms with regard to the sustainability of the business. Hence, the study recommends that governments and policymakers should introduce policies to revamp female-owned businesses, and women should try to attain the same levels of prospects attained by men. On the other hand, variables such as financing sources, financial health, budget targets, and composite perceived impact of COVID-19 were found to be statistically insignificant between male and female owners. It is recommended, therefore, that health, socio-economic, and humanitarian policies are endlessly adhered to by businesses in addition to the effective emergency funding of programmes provided by governments around the world to businesses. Governments should ensure that the programmes expedite the 3 Es’ (Economy, Efficiency and Effectiveness). This would enable small businesses to streamline their activities.
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