Although an entrepreneurship ecosystem has been put in place by the South African government and private sector to accelerate the economic emancipation of women, young women’s participation in entrepreneurship remains poorer than that of young males. The aim of this study was to explore intersectional factors that contribute to the poor participation of young women in entrepreneurship regardless of the entrepreneurship ecosystem instituted by the South African government. These influential factors need to be scrutinised so that intervention strategies can be established to increase young women’s participation in entrepreneurship. Young women are more affected by youth unemployment than their counterparts in South Africa. Therefore, young women’s participation in entrepreneurship will drive transformative growth and promote gender equality in South Africa. This study adopted a qualitative research approach to gather rich data from young females. Forty (40) young women not in employment, education or training (NEET) were purposively sampled from the Western Cape Province. Semi-structured interviews in the form of individual interviews were used to collect data. Thematic data analysis was utilised when discussing the findings. The findings revealed that regardless of the entrepreneurship ecosystem put in place by the government, patriarchy and no access to land remain the major intersectional factors contributing to the poor participation of young women in entrepreneurship. The study recommend that the National Youth Development Agency should design a youth development model that is sensitive to gender issues and ensure that its grant programme targets 60 percent of young women not in employment, education or training every year.
Keywords: Gender, entrepreneurship: young women, poor participation, transformation