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The rise of the female entrepreneur: liberation through escaping various gender-based limitations faced by working class women in South Africa.

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Female entrepreneurship has been noted as a potential solution for economic instability, unemployment and inequality in developing counties like South Africa, by numerous researchers and theorists. Women have been undermined as a result of patriarchy and women in South Africa even more so due to apartheid. South Africa is currently facing alarmingly high rates of unemployment (29%) and disturbing, frequent occurrences of discrimination, and the economy is crumbling as a result. With women making up around 51% of the total population, and around 43.8% of total employment in South Africa, and considering the current state of South Africa, it is time their value and impact is noted. Currently, only 9 out of every 100 women in South Africa are involved in total early-stage entrepreneurial activity, a shocking statistic. One study found that prospective female entrepreneurs in South Africa have the ability to create over 972,000 jobs, over 803,000 new businesses and inject over R175billion into the South African economy, in just five years. Female entrepreneurship can potentially put an end to unemployment, rid the workforce of discrimination and stabilize the South African economy. This study identifies the motivators and intentions of female entrepreneurs in South Africa as well as the potential female entrepreneurism holds to create social and organizational change. A descriptive quantitative study was conducted on 58 respondents who filled out a five section questionnaire specifically designed to gain a base knowledge of information on female entrepreneurs in South Africa. The data was analysed and processed using Statistical Package for Social Science version 26 to gain insight into the positive effects of female entrepreneurship in South Africa. The empirical research methodology performed included descriptive statistics, cross-section analysis, and analysis of variance to identify the positive effects female entrepreneurism has n South Africa and the untapped potential it possesses to create change. A strong impact entrepreneurship has on liberating women from working class limitations as well as the ability it possesses to create social and organizational change, has been highlighted throughout the findings of this study. It is recommended that this area be further studied in order to harness these aspects to create social and organizational change for all.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.