Women Tourism Entrepreneurs in KwaZulu – Natal, South Africa: Capabilities and Challenges?


  • Nompumelelo Nzama NZAMAN@cput.ac.za, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Ikechukwu O. Ezeuduji EzeudujiI@unizulu.ac.za, University of Zululand, Richards Bay, South Africa




Gender Nuances, Business Operations, Business Performance, Traditional Societal Perception, Sub-Saharan Africa


This study conducted in the context of South Africa, aims   to explore gender nuances in the performances of tourism-related businesses in the Durban Central Business District, KwaZulu-Natal, with emphases on traditional societal perceptions and access to capital. Questionnaire survey, a quantitative research method, was used to collect data from 150 tourism-related business owners and managers using purposive sampling method. Data was analysed using IBM’s SPSS version 25 software. Descriptive (frequency, mean), bivariate (Spearman’s Rank Correlation (two-tailed) test, Pearson’s Chi-Square test, Mann-Whitney U test) and multivariate (Reliability test using Cronbach’s Alpha) data analyses were applied in this study. Results shows that entrepreneurial performance is influenced by the belief system of the society, marketing capabilities, and the entrepreneur background. Hence, there may be the influence of African traditional societal perceptions on African women entrepreneurs to be more contented than men with the small size of their businesses (because society expects them not to manage large businesses). This study did not make a conclusive finding that gender plays a strong role in differentiating business success or performance. However, the study found that it is somewhat easier for female entrepreneurs to find business start-up capital. Based on this study results, authors recommend that entrepreneurial training and mentorship programmes should emphasise that gender has no role in determining entrepreneurial success. Better optimisation of marketing capability and increased awareness of entrepreneurs regarding sources of business funding, are crucial for business start-ups and success.