Does having children really make a difference: The case of South African female entrepreneurs

N. Meyer, E. Keyser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Family responsibility has been identified as a potential unique female entrepreneur challenge. Although some females may willingly enter into entrepreneurial activity when having children as it may provide more work life flexibility, some may be challenged by time restrictions especially when children are still young. However, empirical data show that females who decide to become self-employed may in many cases do so to enjoy higher flexibility but may be restricted regarding growth and other factors such as finances, motivation and support. In light of this, the purpose of this study is to identify differences between two groups of South African female entrepreneurs: those with and those without children. Differences were compared between groups considering several factors such as, motivation, financial constraints, intention to grow the business and socio-cultural barriers to name a few. The study followed a descriptive research design using self-administered questionnaires. The questionnaires were distributed to a purposive and convenience sample of female entrepreneurs from all nine South African provinces resulting in a final sample of 510. Data were analysed using reliability and validity analysis and Multiple Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) and Analysis of Variances (ANOVA). Results indicated that the only entrepreneurial variable or factors that were influenced by having children or not were financial constraints, government support and socio-cultural barriers. Factors such as intention to remain in business, intention to grow the business and motivation returned non-statistically significant results for the said groups. The results from this study link to previous findings indicating that differences were observed between female entrepreneurs with children and those without. Further studies indicate that fewer differences were observed between male entrepreneurs with children and those without children, therefore implying that the presence of children among female entrepreneurs could be considered a unique challenge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-79
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Economics and Finance Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Challenges
  • Children
  • Female entrepreneurs
  • South Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


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