Departmental Papers (SPP)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version



This article examines women entrepreneurs in the nonprofit sector. Entrepreneurial activity attracts certain kinds of individuals. Such self-selection is not a random event but is influenced by personal characteristics as well as socioeconomic and cultural factors. This article examines women entrepreneurs in a particular segment of the nonprofit sector in India to determine which factors influence such self-selection. Our research confirms findings by other scholars that nonprofit entrepreneurs receive a high payoff from promoting social causes. Furthermore, we find that previous experience in the sector, beliefs, culture, social class, education, and family background also play an important role. We explore some policy implications of our findings.


Postprint version. Published in Nonprofit Management and Leadership, Volume 13, Issue 2, July 2003, pages 139-154.
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At the time of publication, author Femida Handy was affiliated with York University. Currently, January 2007, she is a faculty member of the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Sociology Commons



Date Posted: 11 January 2007

This document has been peer reviewed.