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Opportunities and challenges for female student entrepreneurship at University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.

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This study investigates female student entrepreneurship at University of KwaZulu Natal by exploring the challenges and opportunities they encounter at this institution. The three objectives of the study were: to explore the opportunities available to female students through entrepreneurship; to explore the challenges faced by female entrepreneurs; and to make recommendations on how female students can be empowered. The study employed a qualitative research approach and the interpretive paradigm. The thematic analysis was used to analyze the findings. Ten semi-structured interviews with female student entrepreneurs, and observations were used as instruments to collect primary data, and secondary data through an organization called UKZN Inqubate. Purposive sampling was used to select the participants. The review of literature revealed that female student entrepreneurship remains one of the leaststudied significant economic phenomena. This lack of diversity in research topics often resulted from the assumption that entrepreneurship was the same all over the world. As a result, there is less focus placed on female student entrepreneurship, especially in higher institutions of learning, thus placing constraints on female student entrepreneurs to be provided with relevant support or assistance. This study sought to fill this gap. The study found out that female student entrepreneurs venture into entrepreneurship due to the financial difficulties. Furthermore, the findings show that female student entrepreneurs at UKZN, Howard College Campus have less support in this institution to improve and grow their businesses. This shows that female student entrepreneurs remain to be on the marginalised line, where support and assistance is difficult to find. These challenges of female student entrepreneurs at the Howard College Campus results to them giving up in their journey of entrepreneurship, and results to failures of their businesses. However, findings from the study shown that regardless of all the challenges, female student entrepreneurship at Howard College Campus has played a huge role in fighting against the triple burden (poverty, unemployment, and inequality) of women which keeps them at the marginalised line. There is indeed a call and need for the improvement support of female student entrepreneurship at Howard College Campus, not only for the benefit of the individual entrepreneurs, but also for the enhancement of the economy.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.