Enterprise Notes Product year
  • Women Workers in Malaysia’s Private Sector

    This note analyzes various issues related to women workers in Malaysia’s formal private sector using the World Bank’s Enterprise Surveys (ES) data. The proportion of women among all workers in Malaysia is on par with other upper middle income group economies but less than the regional average. In Malaysia, the number of women among all workers varies with the firm’s size, sector, management characteristics and whether or not training is provided to workers by the firm. Firms in Malaysia seem to lag behind firms in other countries in terms of how friendly some of the labor laws are to women workers. Suitable reforms of these laws can potentially increase women’s employment in Malaysia’s formal private sector.

  • Legal Institutions and Women’s Employment

    This note explores the role of legal institutions in influencing women’s employment in private firms in developing countries.

  • The critical importance of data collection efforts in developing countries: The case of gender

    The World Bank’s Enterprise Surveys regularly collect data on private firms in the developing world. This note highlights the critical importance of such collection efforts for a better understanding of important development issues related to the private sector. Specifically, this note considers female participation in management, ownership and workforce and how such participation correlates with various firm characteristics.

  • Women in private sector in Latin America and the Caribbean

    This topic note analyzes female participation in the private sector in Latin America and the Caribbean, comparing gender indicators across business sectors, sizes of economies, and between regions of the world. Differences between women-run and men-run firms are also explored in this note.

  • Presence of women in top managerial positions

    This note looks at the proportion of female top managers in private firms in 86 developing countries and its relationship with factors including country income level, gender disparity in education, firm-size, etc. The average proportion of top female managers is quite low at about 19 percent. This appears to be driven in part by gender disparity in education level and the lack of female managers in relatively large firms.

  • Gender and informality in Latin America

    Recently collected data on informal or unregistered firms in Argentina and Peru show significant differences between male- and female-owned firms.

  • Labor productivity, firm-size and gender: The case of informal firms in Argentina and Peru

    A commonly held view is that female-owned businesses suffer from many disadvantages compared to male-owned businesses. These disadvantages lead, in turn, to relatively lower levels of efficiency and smaller firm-size among female-owned businesses—the female-owned firms under performance hypothesis.

  • Gender and informality

    From a sample of informal firms in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Madagascar and Mauritius, this note compares male- and female-owned businesses. We test a number of hypotheses discussed in the literature and find the following results. First, the female-owned business under-performance hypothesis is confirmed, but only for firm-size.

  • Formal and informal microenterprises

    This note uses unique data from enterprise surveys in three African countries to examine the characteristics of informal and formal microenterprises. Entrepreneurs in the informal sector have different motivations for starting a business from their formal sector counterparts, with about twice as many informal entrepreneurs citing lack of alternative employment opportunities as their main motivation.