Examining gender barriers of women entrepreneurs in tech; A case study of MEST incubator.
This paper aimed at examining the gender barriers of women entrepreneurs in the technological sector in Accra using a tech incubator as a case study. This study used the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) incubator as a case study. This study was carried out for one year, and it was limited to MEST incubator because MEST has entrepreneurs from different parts of Africa. These entrepreneurs helped in bringing out different perceptions and opinions of entrepreneurs in the tech sector, coming from different developing economies. The three objectives of this study included; documenting gender barriers affecting women entrepreneurs in tech incubators and what efforts incubators have made to eliminate these barriers. Secondly, identifying what defines success for an entrepreneur working in a business incubator globally to aid in establishing how gender influences their success. Thirdly, to recommend strategies that tech incubators and policymakers can adopt to improve the success rates of female entrepreneurs. These objectives were achieved by carrying out qualitative research using both primary and secondary data. The primary data was obtained through in-depth interviews with both female and male entrepreneurs at MEST incubator and one of the facilitators at this incubator. The secondary data was obtained from literature research. Thematic analysis was used to analyse data from this study. Three main themes were developed; Assumptions and Expectations, Resources, and Mentorship. From the analysis, this study concluded that training, mentorship, and providing resources for entrepreneurship to women entrepreneurs help reduce the gender barriers in tech entrepreneurship. This study recommends setting up more incubators and providing mentorship to girls who show interest in tech at an early age.
Undergraduate thesis submitted to the Department of Business Administration, Ashesi University, in partial fulfillment of Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, May 2020
women, entrepreneurship, technology, gender barriers, business incubator, Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) incubator, mentorship