Challenges faced by female entrepreneurs: The case of the South African learner transport industry
Keywords:entrepreneurship, female entrepreneurship, South Africa
This study aimed to explore the challenges faced by female entrepreneurs operating in the learner transport industry in South Africa, specifically in the Gauteng province. The study adopted a qualitative research approach by making use of semi-structured interviews with 15 female entrepreneurs operating in the learner transport industry in the Gauteng province. A non-probability sampling approach was adopted by means of convenience sampling. Data was analysed through thematic content analysis, using Atlas.ti. Findings from the study indicated that female entrepreneurs in the learner transport industry face several challenges such as high operational costs, a male-dominated industry, being disrespected or undermined by customers, a lack of trust and commitment, being belittled, as well as a lack of opportunity awareness. Participants also indicated a need for government intervention in the industry due to prevailing working conditions. The findings of the study contribute both to the industry, as well as the existing body of knowledge. The findings from the study will assist the national government to collaborate with regional governmental transport agencies, as well as with regional industry associations in an effort to improve the working environment for female entrepreneurs, as well as grow the learner transport industry in a more structured and regulated manner. The industry, despite being regulated by regional transport associations, is currently unstructured.
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