|The Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) repository holds full-text theses and dissertations submitted for higher degrees at the University (including submissions from former Cape Technikon and Peninsula Technikon).|
The role of government in empowering female entrepreneurs in the Western Cape, South Africa
The South African government, to accelerate economic growth and development, has identified the Small Medium Micro Enterprises (SMME) sector, and female entrepreneurs, as vehicles capable of bringing about this change. Unfortunately, this growth has been stifled due to the high failure rate of entrepreneurial businesses in the SMME sector. A possible solution for female entrepreneurs is the introduction of start-up support services to empower them to be successful. Empowering entrepreneurs is the function of nurturing and supporting entrepreneurs by providing them with professional skills development and moral support, to impact positively on the business’s sustainability. There is a clear need to widen access to business start-up training and advice to encourage larger numbers of women to embrace self-employment. This implies offering a wide range of start-up support services which encourage women to go into business. Women enter business from a variety of backgrounds and with a wide range of experience. The provision of business start-up training and advice needs to accommodate these very different experiences. Women attending entrepreneurship programmes have often criticised these programmes as being male-orientated and prescriptive. Women are expected to conform to male models and standards of behaviour. While this study relates specifically to female entrepreneurs in the Western Cape, it is set in the context of female entrepreneurship in South Africa. The target population for the research was 150 female entrepreneurs in the Tourism industry in the Western Cape. The study is quantitative in nature, using the survey method for better understanding of the research problem. The study aimed to understand the needs of female entrepreneurs, and to underscore the significance of skills and knowledge transfer from the government to female entrepreneurs. The research explored the role of government in empowering female entrepreneurs in the Tourism industry in Western Cape, and identified support services that can be used to promote the growth and development of female entrepreneurs. Possible solutions to failure rates of female entrepreneurship are also addressed, with specific models for improved business support services for all female entrepreneurs in the Tourism industry in the Western Cape. This will help them to run sustainable businesses as well as provide more jobs. This research recommends that management capability and financial management acumen be regarded as key to success for funding by the entrepreneurs themselves, and the parties involved in supporting and promoting them.