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Anne Kamau, Paul Kamau, Daniel Muia, Harun Baiya and Jane Ndung’u

Anne Kamau, Paul Kamau, Daniel Muia, Harun Baiya and Jane Ndung’u contribute to the discussion on the growth and business support of small-scale, informal women entrepreneurs by going beyond economic measures such as financial support. Drawing upon survey data from 398 small-scale women traders in Nairobi, Kenya, the authors outline the importance of investment in social protection for the business support and growth of women entrepreneurs, which may help to increase their business performance. In so doing, they challenge the notion of underperformance that is associated with women entrepreneurs, particularly those in the informal economy, and highlight the role of informal social networks that can provide social protection to women entrepreneurs in the informal sector, easing their financial, psychological and social burden.