n South African Law Journal - Empowering rural women crafters in KwaZulu-Natal : the dynamics of intellectual property, traditional cultural expressions, innovation and social entrepreneurship

Volume 137 Number 1
  • ISSN : 0258-2503


This article, based on qualitative and desk research, explores the intellectual property, traditional cultural expression, empowerment, innovation, and entrepreneurship dynamics at play in the work of a group of women crafters (bead-makers) participating in the Woza Moya project of the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust in KwaZulu- Natal, South Africa. The study found that, in this particular case, collaborative and inclusive innovation practices and social entrepreneurship modalities appear to generate significant empowerment for the craftspeople, regardless of the fact that the intellectual property system does not offer easily accessible opportunities. Inclusive innovation and social entrepreneurship would thus, in this case, appear to be some effective mechanisms for empowering rural women crafters.

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