Improving women entrepreneurship is about improving the societies and economies. Women across the globe have impactful participation in the field of entrepreneurship yet they receive relatively lesser attention from entrepreneurship researchers. The field lacks in its own theories and measures hence, employs borrowed ones. Further, most of the researchers use the same tools to measure entrepreneurial performance and success for both male and female entrepreneurs while ignoring the basic differences of their motives to become entrepreneurs. Similarly, women centric success measuring instruments have not been given due attention in past studies and it remained a big gap in research. This study aims to reveal what success is for women entrepreneurs and develops a success measuring tool. Hermeneutic Phenomenology approach was used to attain these objectives. Interviews were conducted from Malaysian female entrepreneurs. The study explored first, second and broader constructs to understand the true meanings of success which is found to be a multifaceted phenomenon having its roots embedded in the dimensions of autonomy, intrinsic-satisfaction, customer-base, business-growth, family, networking and business-performance. Furthermore, it develops a success measuring instrument for women entrepreneurs based upon identified themes. The devised success instrument may practically contribute in gauging women entrepreneurship success for academicians, researchers, women entrepreneurs, policy makers and others. Women entrepreneurship can significantly contribute in economic development and understanding/measuring their perceived success would assist all related stakeholders.
Keywords: Women Entrepreneurship, Success Instrument, Hermeneutic Phenomenology.