Socio-cultural factors influencing women-owned enterprises

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CHAPTER 2 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK: SMMEs

 INTRODUCTION

Each and every country relies on various business sectors in order to sustain its economic activities. Small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a country, and create employment opportunities. SMMEs are vital forces for poverty alleviation and have been widely acknowledged for their contribution towards economic and social upliftment of communities (Jain 2008: 5; Jeppeson 2005: 463; Kotelnikov 2007: 1; Pandey 2007: 3; SEDA 2007: 6; Storey 1994:7). They assist national economies significantly by contributing to the GDP of countries. Within the framework of this study, it is important to study this useful sector in order to understand its ecosystem and to determine how its components operate. The SMME sector is, however, unique in that it has a considerable different structure as compared to Large Enterprises (LEs) in terms of size, type of business activities and compliance with regulation.This chapter aims to describe SMMEs by providing a theoretical framework of their characteristics and business operations bearing in mind the different challenges that they face when they are in the establishment and growing phase. SMMEs will be defined and characterised. This will be followed by a discussion regarding the characteristics of women-owned SMMEs as well as a conclusion of the chapter.

SMMEs AND DEVELOPMENT

The majority of people in developing countries live under the threat of poverty. The poverty rate has increased from 16 percent in 2006 to 17 percent in 2008. In as much as it looks as if the increase is not quite dramatic for a two year period, it was estimated that 55 million to 90 million people will be living in poverty in 2009 (UN 2009: 4). In South Africa, in 2006, there were some areas that had more than 80 percent of households that were living in poverty (Department of Agriculture 2006: 1). This demonstrates the continued dilemma that the developing countries encounter. Of these communities, women are the ones that endure more poverty due to their household duties and primary care-giving roles that they have which limits them from finding a paid job. Research indicates that poverty is one of the main challenges that women have to deal with (SAWEN 2005: 2; UN 2009: 4). The seriousness of poverty, especially amongst women, is reflected in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). One of the MDGs eight development goals is to halve extreme poverty by 2015 (UNDP 2002: 2). Moreover, it was estimated that approximately 1.2 billion people were living on less than a dollar (US dollar) per day, and only 43 countries were on track with regards to meeting the goal of decreasing poverty by 2015. The Beijing Plus 10 conference also stressed the importance of the strategies aimed at realising the MDGs to relief the continuing poverty amongst women (Molyneux & Razavi 2006: 14). Challenges in the economy also do not assist in meeting the MDGs. According to the World Bank’s projections in 2009 (2009: 9), the recent economic crisis resulted in up to 46 million people living in poverty. Households are generally described to be poor when they are living on an income that is below the poverty line (Karlan & Morduch 2009: 5). Kabeer (2005: 4710) asserts that poor people are the most vulnerable people in society and they face a wide range of risks due to lack of resources. Hence there is a need to find the means that can assist in reducing poverty. In South Africa it was found that 66 percent of families sometimes or regularly live without no cash income (SAWEN 2005: 3). This indicates the extreme levels of poverty that some people are exposed to. The causes of poverty are related to lack of employment, inequalities and uneven distribution of resources or opportunities.

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DECLARATION 
ABSTRACT 
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 
LIST OF TABLES 
LIST OF FIGURES
LIST OF ACRONYMS
1. CHAPTER 1  INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW OF THE STUDY
1.1 INTRODUCTION 
1.2 BACKGROUND TO RESEARCH PROBLEM 
1.3 RESEARCH PROBLEM 
1.4 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1.5 SCOPE OF THE DISSERTATION 
1.6 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
1.6.1 Sampling
1.6.2 Data collection
1.6.3 Ethics
1.6.4 Validity and reliability
1.6.5 Data analysis and interpretation
1.7 LIMITATIONS 
1.8 BACKGROUND TO RESEARCH TOPIC
1.8.1 Socio-cultural factors influencing women-owned enterprises
1.8.2 SMME challenges
1.8.3 Access to information
1.8.4 Access to skills and training
1.8.5 Access to finance
1.8.6 Access to ICTs
1.9 OUTLINE OF CHAPTERS 
1.9.1 Introduction and overview of the study
1.9.2 Chapter 2: Theoretical framework: SMMEs
1.9.3 Chapter 3: Challenges in women-owned SMMEs
1.9.4 Chapter 4: Data presentation and analysis
1.9.5 Chapter 5: Conclusions and recommendations
1.10 CONCLUSION
2. CHAPTER 2  THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK: SMMEs
2.1 INTRODUCTION 
2.2 SMMEs AND DEVELOPMENT 
2.3 DEFINITION OF SMMEs 
2.4 CHARACTERISTICS OF SMMEs
2.4.1 Formality of SMMEs
2.4.2 Infrastructure
2.4.3 Business operations
2.4.4 The entrepreneur
2.5 CHARACTERISTICS OF SMMEs OWNED BY WOMEN
2.5.1 Race and proximity
2.5.2 Motivation
2.5.3 Family responsibilities
2.5.4 Beliefs
2.5.5 Formality of business
2.5.6 Areas of trade
2.5.7 Size and employment contribution
2.5.8 Business background
2.5.9 Business finance
2.6 CONCLUSION 
3. CHAPTER 3  CHALLENGES IN WOMEN-OWNED SMMEs 
3.1 INTRODUCTION 
3.2 ICTs AND GENERIC CHALLENGES
3.3 ENTREPRENEURIAL CHALLENGES 
3.3.1 Labour
3.3.2 Regulations
3.3.3 Quality control
3.4 INFRASTRUCTURAL CHALLENGES 
3.5 FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES 
3.7 FINANCE 
3.7 ACCESS, KNOWLEDGE, ACCEPTANCE AND USAGE OF ICTs
3.7.1 Access and knowledge
3.7.2 Acceptance level
3.7.3 Forms and usage of ICTs
3.9 CONCLUSION 
4. CHAPTER 4  CASE STUDY: DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS 
4.1 INTRODUCTION 
4.2 OWNER PROFILE 
4.2 CHARACTERISTICS 
4.4 INFRASTRUCTURE
4.5 ICT INFRASTRUCTURES 
4.6 GROWTH 
4.8 ADDITIONAL CHALLENGES 
4.10 CONCLUSIONS
5. CHAPTER 5  CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 INTRODUCTION 
5.2 OVERVIEW OF THE CHAPTERS
5.2.1 Introduction and overview of the study
5.2.2 Theoretical framework of the study
5.2.3 Challenges in women-owned SMMEs
5.2.4 Data presentation and analysis
5.3 SUMMURY AND CONCLUSIONS 

 

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