Raw and processed data from face-to-face interviews in women-owned enterprises: Productive use in 27 enterprises across multiple African countries

Published: 25 June 2024| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/n8bddy67sk.1


The current body of research on the gender-energy nexus has largely concentrated on the effects of energy poverty within households, highlighting the impact on women in domestic settings. Nonetheless, women entrepreneurs involved in various productive activities are also crucial in adopting new energy technologies. This dataset presents raw and processed data obtained from 27 face-to-face interviews conducted across multiple African countries, focusing on micro and small-sized enterprises with at least one female owner. The data can be used to assess energy access among women entrepreneurs in Africa, focusing on the potential for renewable energy adoption. The data collection through semi-structured, face-to-face interviews occurred between February and September 2023. The semi-structured interviews were guided by a predetermined questionnaire featuring predominantly open-ended questions designed to collect quantitative and qualitative data. The main areas of data collection presented in this dataset span socio-economic factors related to the enterprise and entrepreneur, energy access characteristics including appliances, processes, and energy supply, and the potential for adopting renewable energy technologies, highlighting current barriers to and drivers for future energy access implementation. Key components of the dataset include the following: Socio-economic factors: Enterprise location, ISIC division and industry sector classification, main production goods, gender-based ownership structures, enterprise formality (based on registration), year of establishment or business start, enterprise size (number of employees), profit margins, and business challenges related to the owner's gender. Energy access characteristics: Type of energy carriers used, subapplication, grid blackout or fuel shortage, energy consumption levels, type, number and power rating of appliances used, temperature requirements, and energy expenditure. Potential for renewable energy adoption: Type and amount of process waste, perceived barriers and drivers for renewable energy adoption, willingness to invest in new technologies, and preferred financing methods for these new technologies. The dataset is valuable for researchers, policymakers, and practitioners aiming to understand the energy access landscape for women entrepreneurs in Africa. It provides a foundation for developing targeted interventions that promote gender equity in energy access and foster the adoption of renewable energy technologies. Researchers can use the data to perform analyses of the socio-economic and technical factors influencing energy use in micro- and small-sized enterprises. Policymakers can leverage the insights to design gender-sensitive energy policies and support mechanisms that address the specific needs of women entrepreneurs. Practitioners can develop innovative business models and financing solutions tailored to the unique challenges and opportunities identified in the dataset.


Steps to reproduce

The dataset includes raw and processed data of both quantitative and qualitative types. We adopted a mixed-methods approach and followed a systematic, chronological methodology encompassing data reduction, display, transformation, and correlation. Firstly, raw data obtained directly from the interviews were reduced and displayed based on enterprise location, ISIC division, industry sector, and a breakdown of main production goods. We also extracted enterprise characteristics such as gender-based ownership structures, business type, formal or informal sector status, year of establishment or business start, size, and profit margin. Secondly, data transformation and correlation involved both quantitative and qualitative methods. We initially transformed energy access data into unified metrics across the sample, converting energy consumption levels to kWheq using the net calorific value of fuels and appropriate equipment efficiencies. Energy costs were converted to United States dollars (USD) using average currency conversion factors based on monthly averages provided by the country's national banks or other reputable references for exchange rates. In instances where monthly energy consumption levels were not directly available and entrepreneurs only provided energy costs, we calculated monthly energy consumption levels using grid tariffs derived from the respective national regulatory authorities. For qualitative data, including business challenges reported by female entrepreneurs related to their gender, barriers to and drivers for renewable energy adoption, and willingness to invest in renewable energy technologies, we conducted semantic analysis to identify common themes. These data were then coded to facilitate a deeper understanding of the recurring issues and opportunities of the women entrepreneurs from our sample.


Politecnico di Torino


Social Sciences, Energy Engineering, Sustainable Development, Sustainability, Entrepreneurship, Africa, Renewable Energy, Cleaner Production, Gender Equality, Productive Enterprise in Economic System, Sustainable Business, Energetics