n Ubuntu : Journal of Conflict and Social Transformation - Using entrepreneurial networks in enhancing the growth of women-owned businesses in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Volume 8 Number 2
  • ISSN : 2078-760X
  • E-ISSN: 2050-4950


This article explores the socio-economic impact of entrepreneurial networks established by an international non-government organisation (NGO), known as ENACTUS, on the growth of women-owned enterprises in South Africa, particularly KwaZulu-Natal province. The social networking theory was adopted in explaining entrepreneurial networks, empowerment and some attributes contributing to the growth of women-owned enterprises. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were adopted for the collection and interpretation of data in this paper. Network analysis was utilised to select the list of women entrepreneurs supported by the ENACTUS network in uThungulu District Municipality and eThekwini Metro Municipality in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The researchers utilised snowball sampling to identify the main actors (women entrepreneurs), and content analysis was used to analyse the questionnaires which were sent to a sample of 234 women entrepreneurs involved in the ENACTUS network. The findings of this paper revealed that there is a high proportion of women running micro enterprises who are involved in ENACTUS entrepreneurial networks in KwaZulu-Natal. In addition, they have been empowered in almost all indicators. However, the translation of this empowerment into actual growth is not very progressive. An example is seen in the challenge of moving from small to medium enterprises. The results showed that only a quarter of the surveyed sample actually advanced from small to medium enterprises.

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