Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Management (BBA)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Faculty Mentor

Katia De Melo Galdino


The COVID-19 pandemic affected businesses worldwide, due to prolonged shutdowns negatively impacting many businesses and people’s work-life balance, especially women. As women-led businesses are usually smaller businesses. In this study, we look at how women ownership, compared to men ownership, affected the performance of small and medium-sized businesses worldwide, and whether access to financial support affected this relationship. Relying on data from the World Bank Enterprise Surveys collected in 2020 with over six thousand small businesses in 19 countries, we find that women-led businesses had a higher decrease in sales than men-led businesses. This study contributes to entrepreneurship research and practice by looking at gender diversity and small businesses’ performance during the COVID-19 pandemic, a context that extends the boundaries of work-life balance literature and its effect on entrepreneurial outcomes.