Entrepreneurial challenges facing female entrepreneurs in informal micro businesses: a case study of uMhlathuze municipality

Keywords: employment opportunity, entrepreneurship challenges, female entrepreneurs, micro-informal businesses, poverty alleviation, South Africa


In low-income economies, large gender gaps suggest that fewer women engage in entrepreneurial activities. The quest for gender inclusion has been a relevant issue, contested among scholars investigating ways to alleviate poverty through economic growth in South Africa and the sphere of entrepreneurial studies.

The aim of this study was to investigate the obstacles that female entrepreneurs in small, medium, and micro-informal companies face in the uMhlathuze Municipality in South Africa.

Twenty-four (24) females who operate small and medium micro-informal companies were interviewed using a qualitative research methodology. Content analysis was used to examine the data.

Females confront various challenges, including criminality, draughts, non-conducive working settings, and intense competitiveness, according to the research. Lack of infrastructure, funding and information, education and training, and operational permission concerns are all obstacles to business development. The key issues that most of the participants faced were a lack of funds, infrastructure, and education and training, all of which were used to develop recommendations.

The municipality should establish training centres in each township to train and educate women who want to start or expand their companies.

The study seeks to contribute to the literature on women entrepreneurship in the informal sector by focusing mainly on challenges/barriers hindering female entrepreneur’s success in the uMhlathuze Municipality. They are limited studies that have conducted a similar research in this geographic area.


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Author Biographies

Hloniphile Cleopatra Zwane, University of Zululand

Department of Business Management

Sheunesu Zhou, University of Zululand

Department of Business Mnagement


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How to Cite
Zwane, H. C., & Zhou, S. (2023). Entrepreneurial challenges facing female entrepreneurs in informal micro businesses: a case study of uMhlathuze municipality. EUREKA: Social and Humanities, (2), 16-26. https://doi.org/10.21303/2504-5571.2023.002581
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