Women entrepreneurship in the Tanzanian construction industry motives, processes, challenges and coping strategies

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University of Dar es Salaam
This research aimed at providing insights on the motives and the processes women go through to establish and develop businesses in the construction industry in Tanzania. To attain this objective the case study research strategy was employed in which six cases of women entrepremeurs in the construction industry (WECI) were explored. Data were collected through a combination of in-depth interviews, documents analysis and observations before they were subjected to qualitative data analysis techniques. The findings show that, unlike women in the traditionally female dominated industries, pull factors constituted the primary motive for women starting a business in the construction industry. The entrepreneurial processes WECI go through in starting and developing their businesses included; complying with registration requirements, tendering for business, pursuing opportunities, managing projects and upgrading. It was revealed that being a woman presented serious challenges in terms of winning projects, project location, managing multiple projects, lack of support from husband, the negative perception of women’s capability and lack of technical education. Women needed coping strategies such as using men to negotiate business deals, spousal relations like seeking support from husband, gender socialization, seeking to expand business networks, developing capabilities through investing in employees and on the site learning to navigate the challenges. The findings extend the Resources-Based View by showing the gate ways to critical resources for the successful entry and growth of WECI. The study has made a major contribution to the understanding of WECI and developed a “women entrepreneuring dynamics model”. In terms of policy, the findings imply the need for a mindset shift of the society from the thinking that construction is a masculine sector to a more encompassing perspective that acknowledges the contribution of women entrepreneurs. This requires empowering women through provision of equitable access to business opportunities. In addition, the education system needs to be reformed with the view to attract more females in technical education in order to increase the emergence of WECI.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF HD6072.5.T34S67)
Women in business, Construction industry, Tanzania
Sospeter, N. G (2014) Women entrepreneurship in the Tanzanian construction industry motives, processes, challenges and coping strategies, Doctoral dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.