Accelerating Women-owned Businesses in Male-dominated Sectors: a South African Case Study


Entrepreneurship To the Point (eTTP) conducted research in South Africa on accelerating women-owned businesses in male-dominated sectors with the goal of better understanding the key barriers to entry and growth that women-owned businesses face in male-dominated sectors, as well as identifying key factors required to accelerate the participation and growth of women-owned businesses in infrastructure/Construction, agriculture, or agribusiness.

This work was carried out with the aid of a grant from the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada, in partnership with the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of IDRC or its Board of Governors.

Accelerating the participation and growth of women-owned businesses has resulted in rises in certain sectors, steady growth in others, and declines in others. 60% of women-owned businesses in agriculture, 61.5% in manufacturing, and 44.1% in construction said that female engagement has increased slightly, while 37.5% of women in infrastructure reported that it has stayed stable. However, 26.9% of women in the manufacturing sector surveyed indicated a decline in participation during the past five years.