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Developing women entrepreneurs through guided and funded business start-ups in the City of Cape Town.
Cape Town is known for its diverse environment, which attracts many tourists and investors worldwide. Although women make up the majority of the population in South Africa, they make up a small percentage of business owners. Increasing the number of female entrepreneurs is envisioned to eradicate poverty and unemployment, enhance women empowerment, ensure equity, and boost South Africa's economy. Data were collected using a qualitative technique based on purposive sampling through semi-structured interviews with 17 participants. An interpretive paradigm and an explorative design were employed. The data was analysed using the Atlas.ti and SPSS software.
100% of the participants were female entrepreneurs while males represented 0% of the sample. There were 17 women business start-up owners who participated on the survey. Out of the 17, 14 were South African born women business start-ups owners and 3 were female business experts in Cape Town.
The participants were asked the same question to disclose their age range. About 17% of the participants were under the age of 30, while 47,06% were between the ages of 30 and 39, 29,41% were between the ages of 40 and 59, and 5,86% were between the ages of 50 and 59.
The participants were requested to disclose their levels of education which they had completed, either at high school, or by means of a diploma or a degree. Figure 4.3 above shows a significant group, comprising 52,94% of the sample who had reached high school education while 11,76% had successfully completed their Diplomas, followed by 35,29% who had a degree. There were more participants that had attended high school and had received both primary and secondary education. This indicated that they were able to read and contribute to the study process. The findings confirmed that 47,6% of the respondents had acquired tertiary qualifications, which confirmed that their businesses were owned by professionals.
The respondents showed the length of time that had been operating their respective businesses. The purpose of requesting the respondents to disclose the number of years they had been in business was to determine how long their businesses had been operating. 94,12% of the participants operated their businesses between 2 and 5 years while 5,88% of the participants operated their businesses between 6 to 10 years.
Further, te respondents showed the various locations where their businesses are based. Most (23,53%) of the businesses of respondents were based in Epping, while 17,65% were based in Khayelitsha, 11,76% were located at Kraaifontein and another 11,76% were based at Samora township. Furthermore, 11,76% were based in Cape Town CBD while 5,88% were located in Milnerton, 5,88% of the respondents’ businesses were based in Stellenbosch, 5,88% were in Claremont and another 5,88% were based in Bellville.
Out of 17 participants only 4 respondents agreed to receive guided funding during their business start-ups, amounting to 23,53% of the respondents. Thirteen respondents did not receive any form of guided funding, amounting to 76,47% of the total sample. This finding aligns with Carranza et al. (2018:64) who reported that in the United Kingdom, only 7.4% women entrepreneur start-ups are likely to receive guided funding, compared to men.
From the 17 respondents, 7 of the female participants were Afrikaans speaking (41,18% of the total sample), 2 respondents were English speaking, (11,76% of the total sample) and only 1 respondent was Venda speaking (5,88% of the total sample). It was further revealed that 7 women respondents were isiXhosa speaking, comprising 41,18% of the total sample.
Nine participants have been in the industry for between 0 - 5 years which comprises 52,94% of the total sample. Five participants had been in the industry for between 6 - 10 years, constituting 29.4% of the sample. Only three participants had been in their industry for more than 15 years account for 17.65% of the sample.
17,6% of the participants were owners of a cleaning service business. It was found that there were more participants from the fast-food business, showing a dominance of 29.41% of the total sample. There were only two participants from retail businesses, making up 5.88% of the total sample. There was one participant from the fresh produce business and one from farming, with of these comprising 5.88% of the total sample. There were two participants who owned finance businesses, comprising 11.76% of the sample, one participant from the restaurant business, one from the style magazine covers business and one from the events business.
All the participants from the restaurant, magazine covers, and organising events together, comprised only 5.88% of the total sample.
According to the participants, many women-owned business start-ups are neither funded nor guided. The findings revealed that many women entrepreneurs do not support one another in business start-ups in Cape Town. Moreover, minimal effort is put into interventions by both government and the private sector to abate gender discrimination and eliminate the exclusion of women entrepreneurs.
There are instances of gender bias that impede the development of women entrepreneurs. The findings confirm that the development of women entrepreneur-focussed funding for start-ups has received scant attention in Cape Town. Many women entrepreneurs still do not receive developmental support. Among the proposed interventions to improve women entrepreneurship, start-up funding and guidance are platforms that encourage informal businesses to become formal and penetrate formal financial networks.
Research ethics approval reference number | 2020FOBREC830