Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Gender and entrepreneurial success: A cross cultural study of competencies of female SMEs operators in South Africa

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posted on 2022-10-20, 16:18 authored by Bridget Nneka Obiagele Irene

 This  cross-cultural  study  investigates  the linkbetween business  success  and entrepreneurial competencies in female-owned SMEs in South Africa. The study seeks to identify sets of behaviours that delineate competencies among South African female entrepreneurs. It aims to develop a model of gender and culture-specific competencies for incorporation into interventionprograms for entrepreneurial development.A “mixed-method” approach, conducted in two parts, was adopted for this study.Study 1 was qualitative: 50 individual interviews with 50 female entrepreneurs were conducted. 10 focus  group discussions with 78 entrepreneurs were completed. The purpose was to identify gender  (female)  and  context  (South  African)  specific  behaviours  that  delineate  entrepreneurial competencies.12  competency  domains were identified bythematic  analysis  of  the  qualitative  data  consistentwith existing entrepreneurial competency models. New behaviours were identified (with no new domains  identified),  and  grouped  under  existing  competency  domains.  This  shows  that  existing models  offer  some  cross-cultural  generalisability.  These  newly  identified  behaviours  suggest  a possible   need   to   revise   the   existing   competency   models   to   augment   their   relevance   to entrepreneurial competency measurements in different contexts.Study  2  was  quantitative:  780  entrepreneurs  completed  a  6-part  questionnaire.  Datacollection and   preliminary   assumption   testing   involved definingthe   psychometric   elements   of thedependent  variables  and  covariates.  The  sample  consisted  of  785  female  entrepreneurs  from  4 different South African provinces. The survey instrument was a structured questionnaire. Results found that competencies had a majorinfluenceon the business success of female South African  SME  operators.  The  results  demonstrate  that  self-reported  competencies  can  predict business  success  in  female-owned  South  African SMEs.  The  findings  were  largely  consistent with  existing  models,  but  behavioural  differences  defined  different  competency  domains, possibly associated with cultural differences. 



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