This study investigated the role of business networking in women owned enterprises in the context of the developing world and in Kenya in particular. There is hardly any evidence of studies undertaken on the role of business networking in women owned enterprises in Kenya and this study intended to fill this gap.

The study used a case study research design.  The target population of the study was women owned enterprises in Kenya. Purposive sampling was used to obtain a sample from the accessible population. Data was collected using semi-structured questionnaires. To pilot the research instrument, the study adopted face validity and Cronbach alpha reliability estimate. Both quantitative and qualitative techniques were used to analyze data.

This study was expected to contribute to knowledge in the area of business networking of women business owners. The study results was expected to indicate if there were any significant relationships between structure of networks, relations in networks, in networks and performance of women owned enterprises in Kenya. Data was analyzed through Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) for windows version 21.

The study concluded that there was a very great role of business networking on the performance of women owned enterprises in Kenya. Structure of business networks, the different relations, were significant factors affecting the growth of businesses. The research findings were very important for the women entrepreneurs and any other person with the interest of these results. The researchers in the future will greatly benefit from the study’s findings.

Key Words: Business Networking, Performance

Full Text:



Abdul, A., & Wong, S. (2011). Business networks and internationalization of contractors from developing countries. An explorative study. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management. 18(3), 282-296

Adams, A., & Cox, A. (2008). Questionnaires, In-Depth Interviews and Focus Groups. In P. Cairns, & A. Cox (Eds.), Research Methods for Human Computer Interaction (pp. 17–34). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Adenso-Diaz, B., Mena, C., Garcı´a-Carbajal, S., & Liechty, M. (2012). The impact of supply network characteristics on reliability. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal. 17(3), 263–276

Alam, S. S., Jani, M. F. H., & Omar, N. A. ( 2011). An Empirical Study of Success Factors of Women Entrepreneurs in Southern Region in Malaysia. International Journal of Economics and Finance. 3(2), 166-175.

Allen, W., Kilvington, M., Harmsworth, G., & Horn, C. (2001). The role of Social Capital in Collaborative Learning. Retrieved November 9, 2013, from Land Care Research Website:

Barnir, A., & Smith, K.A. (2002). Inter-firm Alliances in the Small Business: The Role of Social Networks”, Journal of Small Business Management. 40(3), 219-232.

Batool, H. (2012). How does the Social Networking Affect New Entrepreneurial Ventures in UAE? International Conference on Technology and Business Management March 26-28, 2012

Bates, N., Griffin, D., Petroni, R., & Treat, J. (2008). Supporting Document B -Variables, Rates and Formulae for Calculating Response Rates and Reporting Requirements: Economic Surveys and Censuses. Census Bureau guidelines issued 23 December.

Belsley, D.A, Kuh, E., & Welsch, R.E. (1980). Regression Diagnostics: Identifying Influential Data and Sources Of Collinearity. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.

Bertram, D. (2007). Likert Scales. Retrieved November 02, 2013, from Performance Zoom:

Berggren, B., & Silver, L. (2009). The effect of bridging networks on entrepreneurial activity. The rational-legal framework and embeddedness in local social capital networks. Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy. 3(2), 125-137

Boari, C., & Presutti, M. (2004). Social Capital and Entrepreneurship inside an Italian Cluster - Empirical Investigation. Occasional Paper 2004/2

Bowman, K. & Shenton, L.R. (1975). “Omnibus contours for departures from normality based on (b) (1/2) and b2 ”. Biometrika 62, 243–250.

Bowen, M., Morara, M., & Mureithi, S. (2009). Management of business challenges among small and medium enterprises in Nairobi Kenya. KCA Journal of Business Management. 2 (1), 16-31.

Brown, T.A. (2006). Confirmatory Factor Analysis for Applied Research. New York: The Guilford Press.

Brush, C., Carter, N., Gatewood, E., Greene, P., & Hart, M. (2004). Gatekeepers of Venture Growth: A Diana Project Report on the Role and Participation of Women in the Venture Capital Industry, Kauffman Foundation.

CBK (1999). International center for economic growth, & K-Rep Holdings Ltd. 1999. National Micro and Small Enterprise Survey Results, Nairobi: Kenya.

Callaghan, B.A., & Lenihan, H. (2008). Networking: a question of firm characteristics? The case of the Shannon region in Ireland. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development. 20(6), 561 - 580.

Carter N. M., Henry C., Cinnéide B. Ó., & Johnston K. (2007). Female Entrepreneurship Implications for Education, Training and Policy. Routledge. New York: USA.

Chen, C.N., Tzeng, L.C., Ou, W.M., & Chiang, K.T. (2007). The relationship among social capital, entrepreneurial orientation, organizational resources and entrepreneurial performance for new ventures. Contemporary Management Research. 3(3), 213 - 232.

Chen, Y.F., & Chao, M.C.H. (2006). Social Capital and Intangible Resources Of Entrepreneurial Firms In China. Research paper. Accessed: 6 February 2014

Chimi, C. J., & Russell, D. L. (2009). The Likert Scale: A Proposal for Improvement Using Quasi-Continuous Variables. Proc INSECON, 26, 1-10

Chiu, Y. T. H. (2009). How network competence and network location influence innovation performance. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing. 24(1), 46– 55

Cooper, D. R., Schindler, P. S., & Sharma, J. K. (2013). Business Research Methods. (11th ed.) New Delhi: McGraw Hill Education Companies.

Costello, A. B., & Osborne, J. W. (2005). Best practices in exploratory factor analysis: four

recommendations for getting the most from your analysis. Practical Assessment Research And Evaluation. 10(7), 1-9

Cronbach, L. J. (1951). Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests. Psychometrika. 22 (3), 297-334

Cronbach, L. J. (2004). My current thoughts on coefficient alpha and successor procedures. Educational and Psychological Measurement. 64, 391-418.

Cross, R., & Cummings, J. N. (2004). Tie and network correlates of individual performance in knowledge intensive work. Academy of Management Journal. 47, 928-937.

Davis, A. E., Renzulli, L. A. & Aldrich, H. E. (2006). Mixing or Matching? The Influence of Voluntary Associations on the Occupational Diversity and Density of small business owners networks. Work and Occupations. 33(1), 42-72

Dowling, M., & Helm, R. (2006). Product development success through cooperation: a study of entrepreneurial firms. Technovation. 26,483 - 488.

Drost, E. A. (2011). Validity and reliability in social science research. Education, Research and Perspectives. 38(1), 105-123.

Eisingerich, A. B., & Bell, S. J. (2008). Managing networks of interorganizational linkages and sustainable firm performance in business-to-business service contexts. Journal of Services Marketing. 22(7), 494–504

Ellis, A., Cutura, J., Dione, N., Gillson, I., Manuel, C., & Thongori, J. (2007). Gender and Economic Growth in Kenya: Unleashing the Power of Women. World Bank. Washington DC: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank.

Escandon, S., & Kamungi, P. (2008). Women of Africa Leadership Development Program. Combined Research Report: Kenya, Liberia & Côte d’Ivoire.

Farinda, A.G., Kamarulzaman, Y., Abdullah, A., & Ahmad, S.Z. (2009). Building Business Networking: A proposed Framework for Malaysian SMEs. International Review of Business Research Papers. 5(2), 151-160.

Farr-Wharton, R., & Brunetto, Y. (2007). Women entrepreneurs, opportunity recognition and government- sponsored business networks. A social capital perspective. Women in Management Review. 22 (3), 187-207

Fausset, C., Rogers, W., & Fisk, A. (2009). Univariate and multivariate analysis of variance: A primer. School of Psychology – Human Factors and Aging Laboratory. Atlanta: Georgia Institute of Technology.

Freedman, D. A., (2005), Statistical Models: Theory and Practice. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Florin, J., Lubatkin, M. & Schulze, W. (2003). A social capital model of high-growth ventures. Academy of Management Journal. 46(3), 374-384.

Foley, D. (2008). Does culture and social capital impact on the networking attributes of indigenous entrepreneurs? Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy. 2(3), 204-224

Fredman, D. A. (2005). Statistical Models: Theory and Practice. New York: Cambridge University Press

Gachenge, B. (2009). Women Investors Held Back by Low Self-Esteem and Weak Marketing. Retrieved from on August 19, 2013

Gathenya, J. W., Bwisa, H. M., & Kihoro, J. M. (2011). Interaction between women entrepreneurs’ age and education on business dynamics in small and medium enterprises in Kenya. International Journal of Business and Social Science. 2(15), 265-272

Hakimpoor, H., Tat, H. H., & Arshad, K. A. (2011). Strategic Marketing Planning (SMP) and SMEs’ Performance: The Moderating Effects of Structural Dimensions of Marketing Networks. 2nd International conference on business and economic research (2nd ICBER 2011) proceeding. University Technology Malaysia.1013-1025.

Hair, J. F., Black, W.C., Babin, B. J. & Anderson, R. E. (2010). Multivariate data analysis. A global perspective. New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc.

Hampton, A., McGown, P. & Cooper, S. (2011). Developing quality in female high technology entrepreneurs’ networks. International journal of entrepreneurial behaviour & research. 17(3), 588-606.

Harvie, C., Narjoko, D., & Oum, S. (2010). Firm characteristic determinants of SME participation in production networks. Research paper. [Accessed: 7 February 2014].

Inkpen, A. C. & Tsang, E. W. K. (2005). Social capital, networks, and Knowledge transfer. Academy of Management Review. 30(1), 146–165

International Finance Corporation (IFC) & World Bank (n.d). Voices of Women Entrepreneurs in Kenya.

ILO & AfDB (2004). Supporting growth-oriented women entrepreneurs in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.

Kadushin, C. (2004). Introduction to Social Network Theory. Draft paper.

Kaiser, H.F. (1974). An index of factorial simplicity. Psychometrika. 39, 31-36.

Kale, P., Singh, H., & Perlmutter, H. (2000). ‘Learning and protection of proprietary assets in strategic alliances: Building relational capital’, Strategic Management Journal. 2, 217 –237.

Kang, M., & Kim, B. (2013). Embedded resources and knowledge transfer among R&D employees. Journal of Knowledge Management. 17(5), 709-723,

Kenya Association of Women Business Owners, KAWBO, (2011). Power Breakfasts. Retrieved from on 1/8/ 2013.

Kenya Association of Women Business Owners, KAWBO, (n.d). About Us. Retrieved from on 20/8/2013.

Kenya Association of Women Business Owners, KAWBO (2011). Empowering Women in Business to Grow. KAWBO newsletter issue 5. Retrieved from on 06/01/2014

Kyalo, T., Gichira, R., Waititu, A. & Ragui, M. (2013). Demographic factors and social networks influence on women to start enterprises in male dominated sectors in Kenya. Prime Journal of Business Administration and Management. 3(4), 944-949

Leek, S., & Canning, L. (2011). Entering and developing a service network. Journal of Services Marketing. 25 (1), 58– 67

Leung, A., Zhang, J., Wong, P. K., & Foo, M. D. (2006). The use of networks in human resource acquisition for entrepreneurial firms: Multiple ‘fit’ considerations. Journal of Business Venturing. 2, 664–686

Littunen, H. & Niittykangas, H., (2010). The rapid growth of young firms during various stages of entrepreneurship. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development. 17(1): 8-31

Luo, Y. (2003). Industrial Dynamics and Managerial Networking in an Emerging Market: The Case of China. Strategic Management Journal. 24, 1315-1327.

MacGregor, R.C. (2004) "Factors associated with formal networking in regional small business: some findings from a study of Swedish SMEs", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development. 11(1), 60 - 74

Machirori, T. L. (2012). The Impact of Networking on Access to Finance and Performance of SMEs in the Buffalo City Municipality, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Unpublished thesis. University of Fort Hare

Mahmood, R., & Hanafi, N. (2013). Entrepreneurial Orientation and Business Performance of Women-Owned Small and Medium Enterprises in Malaysia: Competitive Advantage as a Mediator. International Journal of Business and Social Science. 4 (1), 82-90

Mantalos, P. (2010). Robust Critical Values for the Jarque-Bera Test for Normality. JIBS working papers No. 2010-8

Medlin, C.J. (n.d). Self and Collective Interest in Business Relationships. Retrieved from on November, 14 2013

Mehra, A., Kilduff, M., & Brass, D. J. (2001). The social networks of high and low self-monitors: Implications for workplace performance. Administrative Science Quarterly. 46, 121-146.

Miller, N. J., Besser, T., & Malshe, A. (2007). Strategic Networking among Small Businesses in Small US Communities. International Small Business Journal. 25(6), 631–665

Miller, J., & Haden, P. (2006). Statistical Analysis with the General Linear Model. California: Creative Commons.

Misango, S.B. & Ongiti, O. K. (2013). Do Women Entrepreneurs Play a Role in Reducing Poverty? A Case in Kenya. International Review of Management and Business. 2 (1), 87-103

Mwobobia, F. M. (2012). The Challenges Facing Small-Scale Women Entrepreneurs: A Case of Kenya. International Journal of Business Administration. 3(2),73-85

Naphiet, J., & Ghoshal, S. (1998). Social capital, intellectual capital, and the organizational advantage. Academy of Management Review. 23, 242–266.

Ngoc, T. B. L., & Nguyen, T. V. (2009). The Impact of Networking on Bank Financing: The Case of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Vietnam. Vietnam, Hanoi: Baylor University.

Nguyen, T. Alam, Q. Perry, M., & Prajogo, D. (2009). The Entrepreneurial Role of the State and SME Growth in Vietnam. JOAAG Report, 4(1).

O’Donnell, A. (2004). The nature of networking in small firms. Qualitative research: An International Journal. 7(3), 206-217.

OECD. (2012). Measuring Women Entrepreneurship, in Entrepreneurship at a Glance 2012, OECD Publishing. Retrieved from on February 26, 2014.

Ongong’a, J.O., & Abeka, E. O. (2011). Networking in the informal sector: an attempt to manage the market failures. African Journal of Business Management. 5(288), 11323-11334.

Omwenga, J. Q., Mukulu, E., & Kanali, C. (2013a). Towards improving the performance of women entrepreneurs in small and medium enterprises in Nairobi County, Kenya: Policy recommendations. International Journal of Business and Social Science. 4(9), 312-316.

Omwenga, J. Q., Mukulu, E. & Kanali, C. (2013b). Business Networking and Performance of Women-Led Enterprises: An empirical investigation in Nairobi County, Kenya. International Journal of Sciences: Basic and Applied Research. 11(1), 10- 17

Orodho, A., & Kombo, K. (2002). Research Methods. Nairobi: Kenyatta University,Institute of Open Learning.

Rodan, S., & Galunic, C. (2004). More than network structure: How knowledge heterogeneity influences managerial performance and innovativeness. Strategic Management Journal. 25, 541-562.

Runyan, R.C., Huddleston, P., & Swinney, J. (2006). Entrepreneurship orientation and social capital as small firm strategies: A study of gender differences from a resource-based view. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal. 2(4), 455-477.

Rutashobya L. & Jaensson J. (2004). Small firms’ internationalization for development in Tanzania Exploring the network phenomenon. International Journal of Social Economics. 31 (2), 159-172

Saunders, M., Lewis P., & Thornhill, A. (2009), Research Methods for Business Students. (5th ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Schoonjans, B., Van Cauwenberge, P., & Bauwhede, H. V. (2011). Formal business networking and SME growth. Small Business Economics. 1-13.

Seibert, S. E., Kraimer, M. L., & Liden, R. C. (2001). A social capital theory of career success. Academy of Management Journal. 44, 219-237.

Sekaran, U., & Bougie, R. (2010). Research methods for business: A skill building approach. (5th ed.) West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons Limited.

Shane, S.A., & Venkataraman, S. (2000). The promise of entrepreneurshipas a field of research. Academy of Management Review. 25,217-226.

Sherer, S. A. (2003). Critical Success Factors for Manufacturing Networks as Perceived by Network Coordinators. Journal of Small Business Management. 41(4), 325-345

Singh, G., & Belwal, R. (2008). Entrepreneurship and SMEs in Ethiopia Evaluating the role, prospects and problems faced by women in this emergent sector. Gender in Management: An International Journal. 23 (2),120-136

Singh, V., Vinnicombe, S., & Kumra, S. (2006). Women in formal corporate networks: an

organisational citizen perspective, Women in Management Review. 21( 6), 458-82.

Širec, K. & Bradac, B. (2009). How does Net­working Impact the SME­s Growth. Organizacija. 42 (2), 59-66.

Snedecor, G. W., & W. G. Cochran. (1989). Statistical Methods. (8th ed.) Ames, IA:

Iowa State University Press.

Tonge J. (2008). Barriers to networking for women in a UK professional service. Gender in Management: An International Journal. 23 (7), 484-505

Van Emmerik IJ. H., Euwema M. C., Geschiere M. & Schouten M. F.A.G. (2006). Networking your way through the organization Gender differences in the relationship between network participation and career satisfaction. Women in Management Review. 21 (1), 54-66

Whiting, V.R., & De Janasz, S.C. (2004). Mentoring in the 21st century: using the internet to build skills and networks. Journal of Management Education. 23(3), 275-93.

Wincent W. (2005). Does size matter? A study of firm behavior and outcomes in strategic SME networks. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development. 12(3), 437-453

Widen-Wulff G. & Ginman M. (2004). Explaining knowledge sharing in organizations through the dimensions of social capital. Journal of Information Science. 30 (5), 448–458

World Bank, (2003). The Kenyan Strategic Country Gender Assessment. Retrived from on August 12, 2012.

Yaghmaie F. (2003). Content validity and its estimation. Journal of Medical Education. 3(1), 25-27.

Yli-Renko H., Autio E. & Sapienza H. J. (2001). Social capital, knowledge acquisition, and knowledge exploitation in young technology-based firms. Strategic Management Journal. 22, 587–613

Zainal Z. (2007). Case Study as a Research Method. Jurnal Kemanusiaan. 1-6.

Zafirovski, M. (2005). Social Exchange Theory under Scrutiny: A Positive Critique of its Economic-Behaviorist Formulations. Electronic Journal of Sociology. 1-40.

Zhang, C., Cavusgil, S. T., & Roath, A. S. (2003). Manufacturer governance of foreign distributor relationships: Do relational norms enhance competitiveness in the export market? Journal of International Business Studies, 34(6), 550–566. Accessed: 6 February 2014.


  • There are currently no refbacks.