139Impact of Individual Factors on the Business Performance of Women Entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka. K.L.B.G. DharmaratneDepartment of Business Management, Faculty of Management Studies, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka. P.O. Box 02, Belihuloya, Sri Lanka. [email protected]AbstractSri Lankan women have only recently taken an active role in the business sector of the country. However, they are seemed competing on an equal footing with the men, in the business field. This empirical investigation attempted to understand the impact of personal and industrial factors on the business performance of women entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka.This empirical study examined the applicability of five theoretical perspectives derived from studies in USA and Israel. These five theoretical perspectives include Motivation and Goals, Social Learning Theory, Network Affiliation Human Capital and industrial factors. Each of these variables was operationalized using 4 or 5 dimensions and sub dimensions. This study sheds light on the explanatory power of these five perspectives in the Sri Lankan context. Six hypotheses and six major research questions were developed and tested. A survey was conducted to gather primary data by selecting 100 small business women from Galle, Colombo and Ratnapura districts and that data was analyzed using multiple linear regression analysis and Pearson’s correlation analysis. The reliability was tested using Chronbatch’s Alfa value method and all the variables carried equal or above 0.65. The best fit model of the multiple linier regression includes only three variables such as Motivation & Goals, Human Capital and Industrial factors and excludes the Social Learning Theory and Network Affiliation because their ability to predict the Business Performance is negligible. The correlation analysis too showed strong positive correlations between Business Performance of Sri Lankan women entrepreneurs and Motivation & Goals and Human Capital. Social Learning Theory and Network Affiliation showed positive correlations with Business Performance. But the relationships were not much vivid. There is a very strong positive correlation between Business Performance of small business women and Industrial factors with a 0.721 of coefficient of correlation at a 99% significant level.Sabaragamuwa University JournalVolume 11 Number 1; December 2012, pp 139-165ISSN 1391-3166
140Overall, this research suggests that theories regarding women entrepreneurship in particular, derived from researches in developed countries need to be carefully examined and tested before being used in developing or non-developed country contexts like Sri Lanka. But in special cases those theories can be applied with slight modifications so that many benefits can be gained from them.