Women increasingly 'make the leap' into 'traditionally male' entrepreneurial ventures. This dissertation reviews relevant literature on what, how many, why and where women entrepreneurs in construction found their niche markets, which aspects make women unique, how poverty and unemployment hurt women and what entrepreneurial barriers women experience, comparing a developed (USA) and developing country (SA). A survey instrument was developed to test the constructs empirically and case studies illustrate the models of success. Given the excellent results of the Cronbach Alpha and Factor Analysis, the instrument developed proved to be reliable and valid and could be used for similar studies. The case- and empirical studies analyse women ownership attitudes and push and pull factors to determine why women became entrepreneurs in construction. The main findings are: 1. Women took up their rightful place as construction entrepreneurs. It is a myth that they are only labourers. 2. Differences and similarities; SA-USA: In the USA women are mostly ‘Corporate Entrepreneurs’ and in SA they are mainly ‘Entrepreneurs’. They agree that their associations are successful in promoting women in construction. 3. Positive pull factors are the main reason why women are in construction as they demonstrate entrepreneurial behaviour and characteristics. 4. Negative push factors, e.g. “need to make a living” are a lesser reason. 5. Gender discrimination can become fatal barriers for successful women entrepreneurs. 6. The majority of respondents see themselves as successful and intent on developing key aspects of their businesses to expand their competitive edge. 7. SAWiC played a pioneering role in developing a database to prevent clients from justifying their non-compliance of the law in terms of non-availability of women entrepreneurs in construction.
Thesis (PhD (Entrepreneurship))--University of Pretoria, 2006.