Entrepreneurship is more common among males than women in the world. The topic of how to establish a business has largely been studied from a male perspective. There hasn’t been a lot of research into why or how to get more women into business ownership. Women entrepreneurs, as leaders of entrepreneurial teams, are recognized as having a significant impact on economic growth and the alleviation of poverty.
Women in South Africa are statistically less likely to consider entrepreneurship than men. They are also much less likely to start a business of their own. The level of women’s “prior exposure to business” and the prevalence of women’s lack of entrepreneurship-related skills may be contributing factors.
The purpose of my study was to look into how exposure to entrepreneurs can inspire one to take the plunge. To rephrase, we wanted to know if women who grew up in a business setting where they were encouraged to take risks were more likely to go into business for themselves. Having parents who are entrepreneurs, working for an entrepreneurial company before starting your own, and “shadowing” successful entrepreneurs are all examples. I took a different tack in answering the query. Before a decision is made, during preparation, and execution are the three stages I identified in the process of entrepreneurial activity. Context is crucial, as I had anticipated. This applies equally to women and their business endeavors.
Women were more likely to establish enterprises if they were exposed to role models or if their parents were business owners. When women already possessed a set of skills associated with successful entrepreneurs, the impact of this background knowledge was amplified. Relevant traits were confidence in one’s abilities, confidence in one’s leadership, curiosity, creativity, and a will to succeed.
The results of my research have significant ramifications for the historically male-dominated fields of entrepreneurship research, education, and models. Educators and policymakers, for instance, can improve women’s rates of entrepreneurship by increasing their exposure to entrepreneurship, which in turn increases women’s levels of self-efficacy, leadership, curiosity, innovation, and motivation.
Revelation, Purpose, and Conduct
There were 346 ladies and 804 gents among the South African business owners who made up my research sample. Incorporating male participants allowed us to see if there was a more robust correlation between women’s and men’s exposure to entrepreneurship and subsequent action. I did find that it worked better for females.
Women’s ages ranged from 26 to 78, with 50 being the median. Only slightly more than half (51.1%), however, had graduated college. Most of the companies were located in either Gauteng or Western Cape (70.3%), and the majority (56.6%), were service-based. The majority of them were employed in the manufacturing, banking, and business service sectors (31.7%). The average age of the companies was five years.
Before launching their enterprises, the women were questioned about any experiences they had had with entrepreneurs. The results of the study demonstrated that a woman’s propensity to pursue an entrepreneurial path was significantly influenced by her earlier exposure to entrepreneurialism.
The explanation is elementary. In general, women have to juggle multiple identities. They feel torn between what society considers to be “masculine” and “feminine” duties, as they want to create enterprises yet are socialised to be employees. However, if they observe other women pursuing and succeeding in an entrepreneurial atmosphere, women are more likely to take the plunge themselves.
If women are serious about working for themselves, they need to develop their business skills. These competences cover things like knowing how to do something and being good at it. Therefore, the knowledge gained from it, in conjunction with prior experience, might increase the prospective entrepreneur’s likelihood of launching a business.
Skills Necessary for Entrepreneurship
According to the findings, the qualities of leadership, creativity, curiosity, self-efficacy, and motivation are particularly important for women entrepreneurs.
Leadership is creating a destination, communicating it to others, and inspiring others to follow you there. Entrepreneurship represents a fresh perspective on a developing business.
The capacity to create novel products, services, and business models that are financially successful is what we mean when we talk about innovativeness.
Curiosity is what drives entrepreneurs to develop innovative approaches to old issues. There is a robust correlation between inquisitiveness and the pursuit of new business opportunities. If a woman has expertise in the business world and is also naturally inquisitive, she is more likely to take advantage of chances that present themselves.
Self-efficacy is confidence in one’s abilities to complete a given activity successfully. It affects the kinds of things people do, how ambitious their goals are, how long they stick with them, and how well they perform. Experience, role models, support, and a feeling of well-being are all proven ways to boost women entrepreneurs’ confidence in their abilities.
The definition of motivation is the drive to achieve or perfect something of great importance. So, a woman’s drive to succeed in business directly correlates to how seriously she takes her ventures. Female entrepreneurs are inspired when they can see other female entrepreneurs achieving similar levels of success.
Government programs should be developed to capitalize on women’s experience in the business world and to help them develop the necessary skills.
About The Author:
Lunga Dlamini is a journalist specializing in African start-ups and entrepreneurship. Lunga’s fascination with innovative business models and emerging market trends guides his writing. He has an MBA and has been with Africa Nova since its inception.