Assessing women entrepreneurship in the information communication technology industry
Khojane, Prudence Mashamatla
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Entrepreneurship has a significant role in the economy of South Africa, hence it is important to embrace entrepreneurship especially women entrepreneurs because there is a lot of stereotyping around women entrepreneurs. However, woman inherited historical imbalances because of the history of South Africa, and this create women entrepreneurs to be faced with unique challenges and barriers as compare to men entrepreneurs. The Information Technology and Communication (ICT) industry is a male dominated industry, meaning a lot of businesses are owned by man as compared to women. This industry requires a lot of technical background which is normally acquired by men. Therefore, a lot of women entrepreneurs face a lot of challenges and barriers in this industry. This research investigated the unique challenges and barriers faced by women entrepreneurs in the ICT industry. The literature study provided information on entrepreneurship and the process of entrepreneurship on how to identify opportunities. The literature also included background information on women entrepreneurs and what motivates them to be self-employed. The characteristics of a woman entrepreneur were explored, and the unique challenges or barriers a woman entrepreneur faces. The empirical study was researched by a questionnaire developed by North-West University, specifically the Potchefstroom Business School (PBS). A total of 70 printed copies of the questionnaires were distributed and two were sent via email to the women entrepreneurs. The data from the questionnaires was converted into useful outputs such as percentage graphs and frequency tables. The percentage graphs and frequency tables were used to make recommendations and conclusions regarding the assessment of women entrepreneurs in the ICT industry. Women entrepreneurs that participated in the research indicated the need for marketing support as well as the growth support. Government and all other relevant stakeholders should promote public awareness and ensure that resources for programs to foster entrepreneurship are decentralised; this will also have to include awareness on ICT industry.