Implemented in 5 African countries since 2008:
South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique & Tanzania
Why women entrepreneurs?
Few women-owned businesses grow beyond being “lifestyle” businesses. Entrepreneurship in developing countries also often arises due to economic necessity rather than by exploitation of new market opportunities.
Women-owned businesses tend to generate lower levels of income, make less use of technology (including ICTs) and are more often found in the service industries or informal sector. Cultural issues present additional challenges e.g. multiple roles and power dynamics in the family, society and the workplace
Women entrepreneurs face other unique challenges:
- Less access to business and management training
- Lack of confidence and risk-aversion to thinking big
- Limited access to business networks
- Lack of access to digital technologies and online media, and therefore less likely to use online business tools for exploiting opportunities
- Lack of collateral for raising capital to expand their businesses
- Extensive family responsibilities and difficulty in achieving work/life balance