#29Untoldstoriesin29Days Importance of empowering female entrepreneurs/women in business

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The Importance of empowering female entrepreneurs/ women in business

Gender bias is a universal challenge that requires an intervention. For centuries women have been classified as second-class citizens in Africa and the world. This classification has had an impact in their confidence and ability to compete in the market of entrepreneurship. There is a need to empower women to rise in society as business leaders, in technical roles, entrepreneurship and labour force participants.

According to the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs 2019 Asia Pacific, Europe and North America  have favourable conditions and a positive culture including social regard for women to participate in entrepreneurship.  The report in addition denotes that in the Middle East and African region the cultural perceptions disadvantage female entrepreneurs to participate in the market.

The latest results from MIWE 2019 confirmed the trend that “female business owners/entrepreneurs appear to flourish in high‐income and advanced economies such as the US, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Switzerland and Singapore where the component scores for women’s advancement, women’s knowledge assets and financial access, and underlying entrepreneurial conditions are higher”.

With the continent being so diverse, the challenges are very complex. Therefore, the question then becomes why is it important to empower women to become entrepreneurs?

  • Cultural perceptions
  • Personal initiative
  • Risk taking
  • Creativity
  • Independence

Cultural perceptions have an impact and influence in women entrepreneurs. These dynamics are found in the household and challenge the women’s leadership capacity especially in the African region. It is crucial that we separate gender roles in business. If we can distinguish women in business as working women rather than making it about gender.

Personal initiative is related to ideas and passions. The basis of the women in business for beginning the entrepreneurial journey could be related to passionate or wanting to create a social impact. Wanting to create a social impact should not be a platform for gender disparities. Creating a social impact is beneficial for the society.

Risk taking can be associated to financial freedom. Risk taking for women in business can be women who want to better their financial stability. Financial stability should not be about gender!

Creativity is the burning desire to create. Creativity can also be classified as a skill. This skill could be bead making, cooking or sewing. Creativity cannot be associated with gender.

Independence is very important. While women in most markets are equally or nearly as likely to be enrolled in tertiary education, those in the Middle East and North African region are marginalized. These categories of women have lower opportunities, and this increases their vulnerability.

The empowerment of women should not be confined to a narrow range of sectors, empowerment also begins in entrepreneurship. Women have played and continue to play a significant role in economy. Despite the unfavourable conditions they find themselves in, they continue to make strides.

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