Business Clinique

Female Entrepreneurship in Africa – Is The Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

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By Aditi Maheshwari

Despite the fact that Africa is leading in female self-employed statistics yet the non-progressive elements are quite evident and need reformative measures. Smart economics need to improve the playing field for women’s businesses, where women potential can be leveraged completely without any restrictive barriers to jump. Relatively scarce job opportunities for the female gender in Africa incline women towards self-employed opportunities and entrepreneurship. Average women-owned firms are either single-handed or have fewer employees and lower revenues because of capital deficit. Profits are hugely affected because of societal norms, and productivity is hampered because of diversion towards domestic tasks and investments. But in spite of the challenging atmosphere, the spirited African women have shown their tenacity to build themselves and society for the better.

Our role is to encourage female participation in a professional capacity by broadening our mindsets and eliminating restrictions by incorporating the following measures:

  • Partnering with the private sector to synergize opportunities as well as a capital generation to be an upfront activity for a more inclusive female representation. 
  • The concept of equal pay for equal work needs to be implemented to balance the gender earnings gap in entrepreneurship. Findings from Ethiopia and Uganda have highlighted this disparity. The development of intra-firm programs can help resolve the existing pay scale partialities. 
  • Girl child educational programmes need to be incorporated into the system for strengthening the desired change. Also, higher education and technical skill development for girls should be prioritized to achieve gender parity. Socio-emotional skills should be included in the curriculum to enable women to become change agents, advocates to remove legal barriers, to take ownership of land and other properties in family settlements, to take initiatives in private and public sector representations and supporters of democracy and the rule of law. 
  • Pitching simple tweaks for female benefits by granting joint property rights to overrule women’s limited access to capital and by introducing innovative psychometric tests as an alternative to collateral. Such innovative technologies benefit female leads by providing access to obtain an individual loan, expand the business, and diversify income. Empowering women to become more effective advocates for the removal of legislative barriers and enabling voicing the disparities in the existing system that are impeding women’s economic progress. 
  • Government allowances to boost female participation can have scalable results. Providing subsidies and other monetary reimbursements for specific projects lead specifically by women can appreciate an inclusive environment for women. 
  • Enhancing work from home opportunities is a great way of leveraging the unnoticed or ignored skills of housewives and women who are unable to work elsewhere. 
  • Making accessible to free Wi-Fi across the countries, especially in remote areas, can help raise the standard of awareness, education, power of communication, learning and up gradation of skills, and also provide a platform for showcasing skills as well as developing the earning potential of women who are restricted in various ways. Liberating women to scroll and select their desires interests and activities and help develop them and in turn, make them capable to earn and finance themselves.

Society needs to be an architect that helps incorporate women power and potential. As said by; W. Clement Stone- “Little hinges swing big doors”. If you are setting goals and missing them frequently, look at the system you have in place, and whether or not it’s helping you accomplish your goals. Try to focus on the system and let the goals fall where they may. Goals are great for motivation but ultimately, it’s the system you have in place that’s going to garner results. The swinging big door is the goal, the little hinges are the system. Focus on the hinges.

Women need to realise that sometimes your humbleness makes people think they can play with you. You may not feel strong but in someone’s eyes, you are their comfort and strength. African women have set personal examples of resilience and courage in the face of distortion and damage for the women hailing in different parts of the world.

It’s important to never let your mind talk you out of your dreams, trick you into giving up. Never let your mind become the greatest obstacle to success. Get your mind on the right track, and the rest will follow. Also, don’t try to overhaul your life overnight. Instead, focus on making one small change at a time. Over time, those small changes will add up to big transformations. Don’t give up!

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