An Initial Review of the Characteristics and Determinants of Female Entrepreneurs in Puerto Rico

Main Article Content

Marisela Santiago Castro Michael J Pisani


This paper outlines the characteristics and determinants of Puerto Rican female entrepreneurs in 2007.  This study utilizes data from the Adult Population Survey (APS) for 2007 from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Project.  We find that female entrepreneurs in Puerto Rico are most likely sole owners of their business establishment, face many local competitors, and do not generally export their goods or services outside of the Island. The primary motivation for business start-up was business opportunism along with a personal goal of greater independence at the workplace.  Education serves as a fundamental determinant of female entrepreneurship.



Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
SANTIAGO CASTRO, Marisela; PISANI, Michael J. An Initial Review of the Characteristics and Determinants of Female Entrepreneurs in Puerto Rico. AD-minister, [S.l.], n. 23, p. 131-150, oct. 2013. ISSN 2256-4322. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 19 nov. 2017.
women; entrepreneurship; female entrepreneurship; GEM; Puerto Rico
Research Articles


Acs, Z., & J.E. (October 2008). Entrepreneurship and competitiveness dynamics in Latin America. Small Business Economics, 31(3), 305-322. DOI 10.1007/s11187-008-9133-y

Ahl, H. (September 2006). Why research on women entrepreneurs needs new directions. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 30(5), 595-621. DOI 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2006.00138.x

Amorós, J.E. (2011). El proyecto Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM): Una aproximación desde el contexto Latinoamericano. Academia: Revista Latinoamericana de Administración, 46, 1-25. Available at:

Anna, A. L., Chandler, G. N., Jansen, E, & Mero, N. P. (2000). Women business owners in traditional and nontraditional industries. Journal of Business Venturing, 15(3), 279–303. DOI 10.1016/S0883-9026(98)00012-3

Bird, B. (1989). Entrepreneurial behavior. Glenville, IL: Scott Foresman.
Birkbeck, C. (September–October 1978). Self-employed proletarians in an informal factory: The case of Cali’s Garbage Dump. World Development, 6(9-10), 1173-1185.DOI 10.1016/0305-750X(78)90071-2

Birley, S. (1989). Female entrepreneurs: Are they really different? Journal of Small Business Management, 27(1), 32 -37.

Blanchflower, D.G. & Oswald, A. J. (1998). What makes an entrepreneur? Journal of Labor Economics, 16(1), 26-60.

Bosma, N., Acs, Z. J., Autio, E., Coduras, A., & Levie, J. (2009). Global
Entrepreneurship Monitor: 2008 Executive Report. Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. Available at:

Business Week (1999). Success is sweets: How Carla Baudillo whipped up a Business, March, 15, Accessed at:, on June 16, 2011.

Casson, M., & Wadeson, N. (2007). The discovery of opportunities: Extending the economic theory of the entrepreneur. Small Business Economics (28), 285-300. DOI 10.1007/sl 1187-006-9037-7

Center for Women’s Business Research. (2004). Top facts about women-owned businesses. Available at

Clark, K. & Drinkwater, S. (August 1998). Ethnicity and self-employment in Britain. Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 60(2), 383-407. DOI 10.1111/1468-0084.00105

Davis, S. J., & Rivera-Batiz, L. (2005). The climate for business development and employment growth in Puerto Rico, NBER [National Bureau of Economic Research] Working Paper 11679. Available at:

De Bruin, A., Brush, C. G., & Welter, F. (2006). Introduction to the Special Issue: Towards Building Cumulative Knowledge on Women’s Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 30(5), 585–593. DOI 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2006.00137.x

De Carolis, D. M., & Saparito, P. (January 2006). Social capital, cognition, and entrepreneurial opportunities: A theoretical framework.
Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 30(1), 41–56. DOI 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2006.00109.x

DeTienne, D.R., & Chandler, G.N. (May 2007). The role of gender in opportunity identification. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 31(3), 365-386. Available at:

De Soto, H. (2000). The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else, New York, NY: Basic Books.

De Soto, H. (1989). The Other Path: The Informal Revolution, New York, NY: Harper & Row.

Eckhardt, J. T. & Shane, S. A. (June 2003). Opportunities and entrepreneurship. Journal of Management, 29(3), 333–349. DOI 10.1177/014920630302900304

Escandon Barbosa, D. M., & Arias Sandoval, A. (2011). Factores que componen la competitividad de las empresas creadas por mujeres y relaciones entre ellos. Cuadernos de Administración, 24(42), 165-181. Available at:

Federal Reserve Bank of New York (2011). “District Profile Puerto Rico,” accessed at on November 1, 2012.

Gatewood, E.J., Shaver, K.G., & Gartner, W.B. (September 1995). A longitudinal study of cognitive factors influencing start-up behaviors and success at venture creation. Journal of Business Venturing, 10(5), 371–391. DOI 10.1016/0883-9026(95)00035-7

George, G. & Zahra, S. A. (2002). Culture and its consequences for entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship
Theory and Practice, 26 (4), 5-8.

Georgellis, Y., & Wall, H. (2005). Gender differences in self-employment. International Review of Applied Economics, 19(3), 321-342. DOI 10.1080/02692170500119854

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. (2012).
Justo R., Cruz, C., De Castro, J. & Coduras, C. (2007). Entrepreneurs' perceptions of success: examining differences across gender and family status, IE Working Paper, Nº 06-07, Instituto de Empresa Business School.

Kelley, D. J., Bosma, N., & Amorós, J. E. (2011). Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2010 Global Report, available at GEM%20GLOBAL%20REPORT%202010rev.pdf.

Mueller,S. L. & Thomas, A. S. (January 2000). Culture and entrepreneurial potential: a nine country study of locus control and innovativeness. Journal of Business Venturing, 16 (1), 51–75. DOI 10.1016/S0883-9026(99)00039-7

Orengo, K. (2012). Internationalization and entrepreneurial orientation. A network perspective: Four cases of Puerto Rican SMEs. AD-minister, 21, 55-69. Available at:

Pisani, M.J., & Patrick, J.M. (2002). A conceptual model and propositions for bolstering entrepreneurship in the informal sector: The case of Central America. Journal of Developmental
Entrepreneurship, 7(1), 95-111.

Pisani, M.J., & Yoskowitz, D. W. (2012). A study of small neighborhood Tienditas in Central America. Latin American Research Review, 47(4), 116-138.

Porter, M. (1990). The Competitive Advantage of Nations, New York, NY: Academic Press.

Portes, A., Castells, M. & Benton, L. A. (Eds.) (1989). The Informal Economy: Studies in Advance and Less Developed Countries, Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Portes, A. & Walton, J. (1981). Labor, Class, and the International System, New York, NY: Academic Press.

Reynolds, P., Bosma, N., Autio, E., Hunt, S., De Bono, N., Servais, I., Lopez-Garcia, P., & Chin, N. (2005). Global Entrepreneurship Monitor: Data collection design and implementation. Small Business Economics, 24(3), 205-231. DOI 10.1007/s11187-005-1980-1

Ruiz-Vargas, Y. (2000). Small business financing sources between immigrants and natives in Puerto Rico. Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, 40(3), 387-399. DOI 10.1016/S1062- 9769(00)00047-8

Shane, S. T. & Venkataraman S. (January 2000). The promise of entrepreneurship as a field of Research. Academy of Management Review, 25(1), 217–226. DOI 10.1007/978-3-540-48543-8_8

Verheul, I., van Stel, A., & Thurik, R. (2006). Explaining female and male enrepreneurship at the country level. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 18(2), 151-183.

Tokman, V. E. (Ed.) (1992), Beyond Regulation: The Informal Economy in Latin America, Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Terjesen, S. & Amorós, J. E. (July 2010). Female entrepreneurship in Latin America and the Caribbean: Characteristics, drivers and relationship to economic development. European Journal of Development Research, 22(3), 313-330. DOI 10.1057/ejdr.2010.13

Weick, K. (1995). Sensemaking in organizations: Foundations for organizational science,Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
World Bank (2011), “Economy Rankings,” Doing Business. Accessed at: on June 7, 2011.