Entrepreneurial Careers of Women in Zimbabwe

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Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to investigate the pathways of entrepreneurial career development and the processes involved for women to become entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe. Women entrepreneurs were studied to gain an understanding of why women chose self-employment and how local enterprise programs should be designed to benefit them. The study examined how women's experiences, the environment, and other contextual factors have assisted to shape women's entrepreneurial careers; and examined programs and policies for supporting skill and technology acquisition and development in small and medium enterprises. It was the intention of the study was to identify the priority needs of individual women entrepreneur.

A hermeneutic phenomenological life-course approach to women's careers in Zimbabwe was used to investigate entrepreneurship. This holistic approach captured the complexity of women's entrepreneurial careers. Accumulating various forms of economic, social, and cultural capital facilitated the development of entrepreneurial careers. Women's agency or the ability to carry out initiatives was critical to overcoming social and economic subjugation in the colonial and post-colonial states. Entrepreneurial outcomes included gain in capital and power as well as construction and acquisition of skills. In addition, women entrepreneurs became increasingly visible as they developed more power within society. Technology played an important role in the development of enterprises.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5328/JVER28.3.217

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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