Exploring factors contributing to South African women entrepreneurship
Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This report is an exploratory study assessing the life stages of South African women entrepreneurs. The purpose is to share significant learnings, experiences and challenges from an entrepreneurial perspective. The study followed a phenomenological approach; the findings have been formed based on the lived experiences of the women without imposing bias or existing knowledge frameworks. The study aims to share meaningful experiences from their situational contexts. The sample consisted of ten South African women entrepreneurs in various industries. The industries range from packaging, clothing, fast moving consumer goods (food), communications, accommodation, and asset management. Important findings of the study are that having relevant work experience, expertise in their fields, and established reputations within their respective industries assisted the participating women in establishing their businesses. However, the younger entrepreneurs with limited work experience were also able to establish successful enterprises owing to being highly skilled in their areas of expertise. They had chosen to study courses, after identifying their passions. They had specifically chosen courses directly related to the businesses they created in order to improve their expertise further. One participant was an exception to the women entrepreneurs participating. She had started her business with no related work experience and no expertise with regards to her product offering. In her case, passion for her product, upskilling herself, having a support structure, and having access to mentorship, assisted her in overcoming challenges.