Understanding the influence of context on black women entrepreneurs in the South African wine industry

Ojediran, Funmi (2022) Understanding the influence of context on black women entrepreneurs in the South African wine industry. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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The overarching research purpose of this thesis is to understand how contexts (social, historical, temporal, and spatial) influence the ways black women entrepreneurs establish and develop their wineries in South Africa, an emerging economy in the Global South. It is addressed through five research papers. The first two research papers (Ojediran and Anderson, 2020; Anderson and Ojediran, 2022) are literature reviews that synthesise relevant and current literature on women entrepreneurs in the Global South and identify possible future research avenues. The other three papers employ qualitative methodology and utilise South Africa’s wine industry as their empirical setting. The first empirical study explores how and why black women entrepreneurs convert the forms of capital available to them. It draws on Bourdieu’s (1986) theory of capital to distinctly define, differentiate, and explore the various capital forms available to them, and their conversion processes. The second (Ojediran et al., 2022) highlights the relevance of legitimacy, identity, and capital as theoretical perspectives in understanding how black women challenge the barriers that affect their entrepreneurial identities in their quest to become legitimate. The third focuses on the concepts of embeddedness and capital and explores how becoming legitimate makes black women-owned enterprises more embedded in a well-established industry context. The thesis makes many contributions to women’s entrepreneurship scholarship and the theoretical frameworks it adopts. First, it contributes to the literature by deepening the notion of capital convertibility and provides empirical evidence of how and why black women convert their capital forms-economic, cultural, social, and symbolic- to derive value. Second, it expands the emerging literature on black women entrepreneurs’ identities and legitimacy by showing the significance of cultural capital in the utilisation of capital in their identity work, challenging various norms to become legitimate. Third, this thesis contributes to the theoretical frames it adopts, for example, it supports the applicability of Bourdieu’s capital theory to contexts wherein black women are marginalised. Fourth, it contributes to women’s entrepreneurship literature by underscoring the theoretical difference between legitimacy and belonging. It presents insights into the function of entrepreneurial agency and the consequences of individual-level networking endeavours on the embedding processes of legitimate black women-owned enterprises, highlighting that further embeddedness boosts their internationalisation. Lastly, it shows that black women entrepreneurs’ embeddedness and the interplay between social and spatial contexts depend on historical and temporal contexts, thus accentuating the influence of contexts on black women entrepreneurs.

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Thesis (PhD)
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06 Jan 2023 16:10
Last Modified:
12 Sep 2023 00:55