"Aduh, Biyung!" ("Ouch Mother!"): the impacts of gender roles on motivations and management strategies of jamu entrepreneurs in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

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University of New Brunswick


Gender entrepreneurship research rarely focuses on women entrepreneurs of traditional medicine. This thesis analyzes how traditional gender roles influence the motivations and management strategies of jamu entrepreneurs (mostly women) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Jamu is Javanese traditional medicine, made with local plant ingredients to treat a variety of diseases and to enhance overall wellbeing. Feminist perspectives of entrepreneurship and institutional theory guide this research in understanding the embedded experiences of jamu sellers within larger social structures. Using snowball and convenience sampling methods, thirty semi-structured interviews were conducted in Javanese and translated into English. Transcripts were analyzed with NVivo software. Findings show that motivations, to start and run jamu businesses, and management strategies are influenced by existing gender roles; jamu sellers seek to access and manage resources (social, human, and financial capital) while fulfilling their roles as mothers, spouses, and caretakers. Institutional gender inequality limits opportunities to operate and expand businesses successfully.