The Barriers that Hinder the Success of Women Entrepreneurs in Gauteng, South Africa
ABSTRACT Women entrepreneurs in South Africa play a critical and important role in the economy of the country with regards to income and employment creation. Women have gained tremendously from national liberation and the disassembling of apartheid and have strategically advanced their rights and interests in society, yet they still face enormous barriers and are still discriminated and stereotyped. Although women account for more than half population, they are limited from the formal business environment. Their contribution in business is mainly located in areas of crafts, hawking, personal services and retail sectors. Access to finance; the regulatory environment; developmental opportunities; cultural and societal values; education and training; and family responsibility are the major challenges facing women entrepreneurs. Even though the above barriers are a challenge, women entrepreneurs have success factors which motivate them to continue with their businesses which include: profitability; social recognition; consumer satisfaction; diversification; flexibility; personal freedom; and security. Several studies around the world have shed light on challenges faced by women entrepreneurs but not much research has been conducted on the success factors that inspire women to remain in business. This study identifies the barriers and the success factors of women entrepreneurs in Gauteng, South Africa. One hundred and forty four respondents participated in this quantitative study by answering a questionnaire and the data was captured using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences programme. The empirical research methodology performed included descriptive statistics, factor analysis, correlation, and analysis of variance to identify the barriers that hinder start-up, management and growth of women entrepreneurs in Gauteng, South Africa.