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University of the Western Cape (2020)

Guidelines for sustainable women co-operatives

Modise, Julia Mantsali

Titre : Guidelines for sustainable women co-operatives

Auteur : Modise, Julia Mantsali

Université de soutenance : University of the Western Cape

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy 2020

Résumé partiel
The number of women joining the formal waged labour market has been visibly increasing since the 1950s to become half of the employees in the developed economies (McAdam & Marlow, 2010 ; OECD, 2003). Women entrepreneurship has also been growing globally. According to literature, since 2006, there is an estimated 7.7 million majority of women-owned businesses and a further 2.7 million joint-owned other businesses in the United States of America (Weeks, 2016). Literature also indicates that the gender gap is narrowing, and many changes have been identified relating to the status of women and the conditions under which women live (Commission of Gender SA, 2007). Measures have been put together by governments, and civil society to address challenges facing women and these measures include, amongst others, funding for women and starting co-operatives as a vehicle to job creation and poverty alleviation. It has been reported that in South Africa, most of the newly established co-operatives are registered by black women in townships and the rural areas (DTI, 2012). Despite the support from the South African government, the co-operatives are reported to have a low survival rate. The aim of this research was to develop guidelines for sustainable women co-operatives using a multiple case study. The Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) is the custodian of all the activities of co-operatives within government and has several agreements with other government departments. However, it was difficult to get the information on how many government departments are having an agreement with the DSBD and the nature of the agreement. Purposive sampling was applied in selecting government directors and fifteen co-operatives interviewed. The study was implemented in two phases. The first phase was Data Collection, which comprised of three stages : • Stage one - scoping review of the co-operatives, • Stage two - interviews with the directors responsible for co-operatives in the government departments and government agencies mentioned above, • Stage three - seven focus groups consisting of a minimum of three members were conducted. In-depth interviews were conducted with the remaining eight co-operatives. Not all members of the selected co-operatives were available during the visit due to various reasons which included, operational requirements, training, illness and other reasons which were not disclosed. Phase two involved developing the guidelines for sustainable women co-operatives.

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