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Challenges facing informal sector micro-enterprises in Newlands West : the case of female owned home-based dress-making enterprises.

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This study seeks to investigate the challenges facing informal sector micro-enterprises in Newlands West, using the case study of female owned home-based dress making enterprises in the South West of Durban. The investigation, which aims at establishing the historical background to these micro-enterprises, their main activities and their viability, and the challenges they are facing, will be conducted in the context of the broader debate both in South Africa (SA) and globally about the informal sector, to which micro-enterprises would arguably belong. This study also aims to contribute towards research and future policy developments in the field of home-based enterprises. Many of these workers have set-up home-based micro-enterprises as a means of creating employment in order to sustain their livelihoods. The purpose of this study is thus to highlight the potential of these micro-enterprises to create employment and alleviate poverty. The qualitative research method is used in this study. In-depth, semi-structured interviews using purposive sampling were conducted with ten owner-managers. Data was analysed using the constant comparative method of analysis. The conclusion drawn from this study was that these micro-enterprises received hardly any support from the local municipality or provincial government to grow their businesses. The study also found that there is potential for these owner-managers, with appropriate state support, to grow their businesses, make greater profits and create jobs. Some of the recommendations offered in this study include: a system of mentorship should be established to assist informal micro-enterprise owners improve their business acumen. They should be given enterprise support as none of the dressmakers underwent any form of business training. There should be development of the following skills: Financial management, production management, technical training, marketing and sales and understanding the regulatory environment.


Thesis (M.A.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 2007.


Theses--Industrial, organisational and labour studies., Indian women--KwaZulu-Natal--Employment., Home-based businesses--KwaZulu-Natal., Self-employed women--KwaZulu-Natal.