The availability and nature of capital has extensively been studied as the major challenge that faces novice start-up entrepreneurs. But less attention on how the source of capital could affect business performance. The debate on why and how female entrepreneurs in Africa access and manipulate various sources of start-up and operating capital has not well been investigated in the entrepreneurship literature.

It is assumed that the family is the central form of financial support for start-upbusiness. This is not always the case. The family could boost the capability of female entrepreneurs to obtain starting capital for their business, but the same family relatives could hinder this. This paradox provides the research focus of this paper.

The context is Cameroon, a country where family authority and tradition is a powerful influence. Women have had little traditional access to the ownership and claim on family financial resources. A context of widening sources of start-up finance. This research verifies and explain the different types of financing choices, and the extent to which the family invest in female owned businesses.

It demonstrates that access to different sources of capital depends crucially on the ability of the entrepreneur to manipulate and counterbalance different types of networks. In the case of negative family influences.