Brazilian Women Entrepreneurs: Exploring Sustainability as a Strategy for Developing Resilient Business Organizations

Document Type


Publication Date


Originally Published In

Small Business Institute Journal

Volume Number


Issue Number



Brazilians create over 1.2 million new enterprises annually, yet the survival rate is low. Thirty percent of the new ventures are unable to survive the first year, and 58% go out of business after 5 years. Building upon the conceptual framework of sustainability principles in business, and applying a qualitative phenomenological study, we explored the perceptions of Brazilian women entrepreneurs concerning the approaches needed to build a sustainable business enterprise in Brazil. Data collected were via telephone interviews with 20 female entrepreneurs engaged in a range of micro and small businesses. Results revealed major factors fostering the creation and development of sustainable companies and factors hindering such development. Practical implications are that by learning and implementing best practices through economic, social, and environmental sustainability principles, novice entrepreneurs and small business owners could build a resilient company and extend its longevity.