Entrepreneurship has always been considered as a key to Africa’s success. The country has the highest rate of entrepreneurship in the world and as African Development Bank says, 22% of the population is into starting their own business. The big part of the female population is also engaged in entrepreneurial activities, making Africa’s rate highest in the world, and in fact, women in Africa are more likely than men to engage in this kind of activity. This is why the latest news won’t be surprising for Africa.
Although, in Africa, women-owned business isn’t as successful as entrepreneurship among women, as News24 reports, the risks associated with the women-owned business for business financiers in Africa are much lower than before. However, they are still a minority in South Africa as around 47% of local businesses are led by women. This has several reasons. First of all, some things hold women back from starting their businesses.
In general, they lack funding to grow their business as African society doesn’t have enough information about female founders and their products which has always been a risk factor for African investors. One more related reason is the lack of access to experts and mentors who will guide them through the principles of business-making. The reason is the same. In 21 century the society is still surrounded by stereotypes about women that they are not intelligent enough, they can’t run a business because of lack of knowledge and skills in finances, they can’t be independent and people can’t rely on them in business matters and things like that. The society unconsciously believes all of these stereotypes, even though the facts indicate the opposite, making the women vulnerable to carry out their business plans and start working on them. It’s no surprise that when people around you don’t believe you, you lose confidence and enthusiasm to do what you always wished to do. And this is what usually happens with female business owners. They fear instability and insecurity which restrains them from implementing their business ideas. However, recent data shows that the risk has reduced.
Successful South African women
South Africa has a long history of women entrepreneurship. It’s not surprising to see South African women succeed in business. Even though the number of female entrepreneurs is higher than male ones, in general, their businesses are less profitable and they make fewer jobs than men due to the above-mentioned stereotypes. However, they have various businesses in male-dominated sectors. This is particularly the case with independent analytical work like FX trading where dozens of South African women take part in. For example, Nalisiwe Masango, Paballo Nkwe, Danielle Lester, and many more. They are the most successful female traders and their success was mostly achieved through the conventional trading software that they learned. Nowadays, they teach trading in various organizations as well as sometimes providing tips from FX companies that use MT4 software in the country. MetaTrader 4 is one of the most popular trading software today and is used by a large number of brokers. It is licensed to foreign exchange brokers and allows users to see live quotas, prices and to place orders. MetaTrader 4 has several advantages like its location, accessibility, security, customization, low system requirements, and many more. Besides, MT4 is optional for beginner traders as it provides an educational purpose for beginning and this is one of the reasons why it is so attractive for female fx traders.
Reasons for becoming an Women entrepreneur
One of the investigations done by Forbes suggests that women entrepreneurs are usually the ones who have been working for many years but after having children had to leave the workplace and engage in house affairs. When time goes by and they are ready to work again, what they usually do is taking part in entrepreneurship and starting their own business. These women engage in small businesses, often near their place of residence, so that they can have time both for work and for family.
In Africa, women are choosing to become entrepreneurs not because they don’t have other skills or they haven’t dreamt of something else but it’s because they don’t have other opportunities. Wage jobs in the continent are usually rare and also women in Africa have poor educational backgrounds, aren’t considered as reliable and competent employees, and often face discrimination at the workplace. The chances that they will go through the interview stage and get employed are almost none. Most of their responsibilities are childcare and other home-based work which is why they tend to start home-based businesses so that they can have the income to satisfy the financial needs of their families.
This fact is disappointing given that Africa is a world leader in women-owned businesses but their potential is suppressed instead of being used in the continent’s growth. Empowering women entrepreneurs would definitely help Africa’s economy grow but the society is so embraced with the stereotypes and so engaged in the discrimination of women that they can hardly imagine something like this.
However, getting rid of useless stereotypes would help Africa’s economy to flourish as an enterprise is a crucial part of economic growth. Developing entrepreneurship means creating more jobs, having more innovation, and improving Africa’s financial system. But all these things won’t happen without an effort and implementing policies that target women’s engagement is needed. Marginalizing women from the mainstream economy takes its room from the era of colonization and still is an important part of African society’s everyday life. Advancing gender equality in Africa would be a correct decision and an important development policy, as there are more than half of entrepreneurs in Africa.
Why are female entrepreneurs important?
First of all, bringing more entrepreneurs to the market offers a chance for more successful businesses. Women often have ideas that are way different from mainstream ideas but nobody pays enough attention to it simply because these ideas come from women. However, they can be able to start a business which attracts different clientele than their male counterparts. The result of this will be economic growth and stability.
Other than that, bringing more women into the business may reduce poverty. Removing barriers to entrepreneurship will be a way to support women living in extreme poverty around the world, making them able to become more important figures in society. Besides, it means that more money will be invested in the local economy. Women entrepreneurs have different perspectives, different needs from men, and different understandings of usefulness which means they will bring innovation to the economic sector. And still, these are just some of the reasons why it is important to support female entrepreneurs around the world.
To sum up, entrepreneurship is an important part of Africa. The number of women making their businesses quickly raises and makes Africa stand out from other parts of the world. However, due to gender stereotypes and traditional views, women are not considered as full-fledged members of society and the majority of them frequently experience discrimination. Hopefully, the situation changed for good as women-owned businesses are now considered less risky by the business financiers in Africa.