n Commonwealth Youth and Development - The unique obstacles of female entrepreneurship in the tourism industry in Western Cape, South Africa




The intention of this article is to identify the obstacles unique to female entrepreneurs in the tourism industry in Western Cape, South Africa. This is against the backdrop that in order to accelerate economic growth and development in South Africa, female entrepreneurs should also be considered as important vehicles that can bring about the necessary economic growth and development. Unfortunately, this growth has been stifled due to the high failure rate in the SMME sector; specifically among women. This article used the qualitative deductive approach, utilising in-depth semi-structured interviews, which enabled the participants to disclose important information relating to the study. The data were analysed qualitatively using themes. For effect, this article also made use of content analysis because of its significance in qualitative studies.Three themes emerged from content analysis. These include demographic factors; socio-economic factors and culture. The findings have shown primarily that the factors that impede female entrepreneurs differ from sector to sector. Within the Western Cape Tourism industry, specifically the accommodation sector, unique obstacles abound. While the authors acknowledge that the obstacles faced by female entrepreneurs are unique to this sector, they are equally mindful of the repercussions of a generalisation of the findings. To this end, we suggest that a broader study be conducted to compare factors that impede entrepreneurship in other provinces in South Africa and/or draw a comparison between males and females. This article undoubtedly has value not simply because it is gender biased, but also because by highlighting the unique challenges and barriers faced by female entrepreneurs, there could be better government support for female entrepreneurs in general and especially those in the accommodation sector in the Western Cape.


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