The Impact of Gender on Start-up Capital: A Case of Women Entrepreneurs in South Africa
January 29, 2014 Editor 0
In South Africa, women entrepreneurs do not enjoy the same opportunities as men in accessing start-up capital due to a number of discriminatory practices embedded in lending models. This study seeks to understand the gender-specific barriers to raising start-up capital, and adopts a mixed methods approach that includes semi-structured interviews with experts and a survey of women entrepreneurs. All participants were from the small business sector in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The findings revealed the gendered nature of start-up capital for women entrepreneurs in South Africa, and the difficulty women face in venturing into non-traditional industries. The findings build on previous research by focusing on the intersection between women’s contribution to the economy and their production activities in the informal and domestic context. This study calls for the activities of women entrepreneurs in these sectors of the economy to be recognised within lending models, and as constituting a valuable area of economic growth.
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