An investigation of the factors influencing the success of small and medium-sized women-owned businesses
Figures show the unemployment rate in South Africa is increasing. Entrepreneurship is a very good solution to decrease the unemployment rate and increase the economic growth of South Africa. Very few studies have been done on entrepreneurship, including women entrepreneurs, as men have always been the leaders in this regard. More than 50% of South Africa's population is female and deemed as a very important factor for the country's economic growth. Women entrepreneurs have been understudied; there are also other factors and relationships that should be investigated and understood for the government to be able to establish programmes and assistance for women entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses. The research for this study was conducted in the Gauteng Province as poverty levels are high, despite large industries in this province and the fact that it is the most Gross Domestic Province for South Africa. The objective of this study is to investigate women entrepreneurship in the Gauteng and to make practical recommendations to enhance women entrepreneurship in this province. A survey including 41 women-owned businesses was conducted. A detailed profile of the woman entrepreneur in Gauteng was compiled, including the structure of the business. Factors such as the level of organisational commitment, dimensions of entrepreneurial orientation, job satisfaction, life satisfaction, development needs as well as the perceived business success, have been investigated. The relationships between these factors have also been investigated in the empirical research. The most urgent needs of women entrepreneurs in Gauteng are marketing training, financial support, machinery, equipment and tools as well as infrastructure. It is recommended that these needs are addressed through a support initiative especially implemented for women entrepreneurs. These factors need to be understood by the government in order to establish and assist women entrepreneurs in South Africa.