​​​Women Entrepreneurs in Cape Town, South Africa: Challenges and Opportunities


​The dynamic for women entrepreneurs in South Africa is one that offers many opportunities. As a developing nation, the field provides many niches that represent opportunities within the sphere of small-and-medium enterprise (SME) business endeavours. There are challenges as well as opportunities in various fields of entrepreneurship. Some challenges and opportunities are unique to specific fields and others are more general.

The scope of this paper involves investigating women entrepreneurs' dynamic through introductory interviews of success in the field of women's entrepreneurship in Cape Town. The study intends to highlight the issue by way of quantitative analysis. In doing so, an exploration of case studies is necessary to achieve perspectives on the relationships between women entrepreneurs and the environment in which they operate. SME's are the main focus in this study, especially those enterprises operating in areas inhabited by people on the lower end of the income spectrum. Urban and rural settings are also taken into consideration as important environmental factors that have profound effects in a number of different ways such as access to resources and support structures.

The scope also extends to analysing general trends inherent in the process of setting up and executing entrepreneurial enterprises. Included in these trends are the challenges perceived and challenges dealt with by women entrepreneurs. How these challenges have been met is an important aspect to this analysis. These challenges are noted as issues that are easily or not easily resolved, and whether they are dealt with by the individual entrepreneur or with help from external sources, as in many cases, the problems are outside the control of the individual entrepreneur and as such, may require governmental responses

Full academic paper available upon request.

Presented at:

​​2nd International Conference on Gender Research - ICGR 2019, Rome, Italy