University of Pretoria

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Entrepreneurial resilience and success among women entrepreneurs in South Africa

posted on 2021-02-01, 15:20 authored by Nombulelo QaliNombulelo Qali

Entrepreneurial activity has been widely associated with the growth of the economy, based on its ability to create employment and alleviate poverty. Entrepreneurs often function in uncertain environments and, as a result, require resilience in order to succeed.

Research into entrepreneurial resilience, mainly in the field of positive psychology, is still at a preliminary stage. This study explores the relationship between resilience and success among women entrepreneurs in South Africa (SA). A narrative approach was employed to examine their journeys. Data was collected by means of semi-structured interviews of 16 respondents, across various provinces. Using qualitative thematic analysis, the researcher found that resilience is a precursor to entrepreneurial success.

The results indicate resilience comes from a variety of influences, including situational factors, life experiences as well as adversity, and is influenced by factors including resourcefulness, optimism and hardiness. This trait therefore empowers an entrepreneur the ability to bounce back from business adversities and become successful; where success has been regarded as making a social impact. This study makes recommendations for entrepreneurs, business training institutions and incubators, as well as policy makers.