Disadvantaged? Informal Female Entrepreneurs Operating “Tienditas” in Nicaragua

Michael J. Pisani


I explore the business and (household) income outcomes of base of the pyramid (BoP) in-home convenience store entrepreneurs through a census-like business survey in Nicaragua. Throughout Latin America and in Nicaragua, tienditas are typically operated by female entrepreneurs in an informal regulatory environment out of the home and at the periphery of developing economies. Some authors have characterized this sector as disadvantaged because of its inherent reliance on female ownership, on a home-based location, and on operating within an informal context (Nichter and Goldmark, 2009). Others have argued that such enterprises may serve as a link toward poverty reduction at the BoP (Pisani and Yoskowitz, 2012). Utilizing a 2012 cross-sectional and nationally representative business focused survey, 400 Nicaraguan tenderas are examined. Findings indicate heterogeneity exists across the tiendita retail sector; where failing, ailing, stable and healthy tienditas are segmented, analyzed, and discussed.


Informality; Female Entrepreneurship; Tienditas; Nicaragua

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