Female entrepreneurs face significant work-life balance challenges in their business, family and personal lives, according to the results of research conducted by former teacher Mr Vincent Piyo Otieno who was awarded his Master of Commerce degree cum laude from UKZN.
Otieno, who quit his job as a teacher to pursue the degree, said never in his wildest dreams did he think he would graduate cum laude.
‘I had to make the difficult decision of quitting my full-time job as a teacher to pursue this degree on a full-time basis,’ said Otieno.
‘Making this adjustment was quite difficult. My main motivation came from a sense of personal ambition where I wanted to enhance my potential by pursuing new knowledge and skills.’
Otieno, who explored the work-life balance experiences of small-scale female entrepreneurs in Manzini, Swaziland, said while looking for a research topic he was attracted to the concept of work-life balance and decided to concentrate on the subject.
‘The findings of the study reveal that female entrepreneurs face significant work-life balance challenges in their work, family and personal domains. This is mainly attributed to long working hours and limited flexibility leading to serious fatigue inhibiting involvement in their home and personal lives,’ he said.
Otieno says during his studies he learned to appreciate valuable principles and qualities such as perseverance, self-discipline, reflection and meditation.
‘My experience during this journey was really a mixed bag ranging from frustration to excitement.’
The 36-year-old paid tribute to the support he received from family and friends and hoped they were proud of him.
‘This achievement has inspired me to scale to new heights. I have applied to do a PhD in Management at UKZN and am hopeful of being accepted.’
Words: Xoliswa Zulu