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The Impact Of Selected Personal And Social Capital Variables On Entrepreneurial Success: A Case Of Women-Owned/Managed Engineering And Construction SMMEs In The Free State Province

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dc.contributor.author Ntshangase, Thandeka Brightness
dc.date.accessioned 2022-08-01T09:48:00Z
dc.date.available 2022-08-01T09:48:00Z
dc.date.issued 2020-04
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11462/2371
dc.description Thesis en_US
dc.description.abstract The engineering and construction professions are widely celebrated as critical in generating significant breakthroughs in health care; enabling the production of clean energy, advancing world class transportation, reducing global emissions; increasing equitable access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) to marginalised populations; providing clean drinking water; mitigating natural and man-made disasters, protecting the natural environment and managing natural resources. Despite the widely celebrated importance of engineering and construction worldwide, including in South Africa, the level of ownership and management of engineering and construction businesses, especially among South African women, remains low; and women entrepreneurs remain invisible nationally and globally in these highly technical businesses. Despite the widely held claims that social capital, cultural capital and emotional capital are individually integral to the success of entrepreneurship and the acknowledged role of personal demographic variables (race, age and education) in explaining entrepreneurial competences, what remained unclear is the combined effects of these capital forms and demographic variables on entrepreneurial competences and success of historically-margined groups such female entrepreneurs. This research gap persists because no concerted efforts have been made in entrepreneurial research to connect diverse forms of capital, individual demographics, entrepreneurial competence and success with specific emphasis on under-presented, historically marginalised groups as the focus of study. More so, the focus of engineering and construction research has tended to target male entrepreneurs, thereby obscuring the contribution of successful women in these male-dominated professions. The current study drew on several multi-level theories (namely Human Capital Theory, Social Capital Theory and General Systems Theory), a quantitative approach and descriptive, exploratory, cross-sectional survey design to explore the effects of demographic variables and capital (social capital, cultural capital and emotional capital) variables on the entrepreneurial competences of female owner or managers operating engineering and construction SMMEs in the Free State Province. The survey, which drew on sampling frames drawn from the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) and Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) was administered on 400 entrepreneurs and 340 entrepreneurs respectively who responded to the survey, generating a response rate of 85%. Drawing on the survey data and a pre-coded instrument for which numerical values were given to different response possibilities, data were coded in preparation for analysis and testing. After coding, the data were subsequently entered into Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) for detailed analysis. A combination of descriptive statistics (e.g. percentage analysis, frequencies, means and standard deviations) and inferential statistics (T-tests, ANOVA, correlation analysis and regression analysis) were employed to test the proposed relationships between the constructs of the study. Descriptive statistics demonstrated that the female entrepreneurs who owned and managed engineering and construction businesses were predominantly black South African, married and above 40 years of age. The predominance of 40 years and above group seem to suggest that capital and knowledge intensive industries like engineering and construction generally require mature adults who have accumulated industry knowledge and financial capital to successfully run their individual business independently. The results also revealed a strong, positive and statistically significant relationship between different demographic characteristics (marital status, age, ethnicity, academic qualification, and nature of business) and entrepreneurial competence. Only the emotional capital variable was significantly and positively correlated with the entrepreneurial competence variable. While all three capital forms significantly predicted entrepreneurial competence, emotional capital had the strongest effect. Furthermore, the results also revealed that there was a positive and a significant relationship between environment dynamism and entrepreneurial success. The mediation results analysis revealed that entrepreneurial competence positively and significantly mediates the relationship between capital forms and entrepreneurial success. Moreover, entrepreneurial competence positively and significantly mediates the relationship between demographic factors and entrepreneurial success. Furthermore, entrepreneurial competence positively and significantly mediates the relationship between environmental dynamism and entrepreneurial success. The main theoretical contribution is that the study challenged the Gender-based Theory of Entrepreneurship and expanded the Human Capital Theory by contending that the material conditions of women as far as entrepreneurship is concerned are not just conspicuously external (e.g. financial, technical and market penetration support) as claimed by some gender-based theorists, but also involve internal capabilities such as women’s energy, personal resolve, conscientiousness, industriousness and emotional investment as demonstrated by the findings of the study. The second contribution is that the study demonstrated that the success of entrepreneurship transcends the integration of internal and external perspectives to incorporate a complex amalgam of multiple factors located at the personal, interpersonal, and system factors – interacting in dynamic, iterative and often recursive ways. The study recommends the targeting of females in preferential policies, the institution of more gender mainstreaming programmes to remove the male domination stigma, value and masculine sexual orientation and working conditions of the industry. Traditionally, the industry working environment has been characterised by tough competition, constant relocation and long working conditions thereby necessitating the need for part time career opportunities, task sharing and career breaks for maternity for female owner/managers. Secondly, the study recommends the development of policies that foster a conducive entrepreneurial climate where business opportunities are identified, resources are marshalled, and businesses are developed in support of successful entrepreneurship. Overall, the study provides some valuable insights into the critical determinants of entrepreneurial competence, which could be instrumental to the success and survival of emerging female owned/managed SMMEs in engineering and construction industry, an industrial domain where female entrepreneurs have not been seriously considered. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Central University of Technology en_US
dc.title The Impact Of Selected Personal And Social Capital Variables On Entrepreneurial Success: A Case Of Women-Owned/Managed Engineering And Construction SMMEs In The Free State Province en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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