Women Entrepreneurship

Throughout the past several decades women have leapt into the business world andcreated their own businesses in droves, but there are still many hurdles women face on the path to professional and entrepreneurialsuccess. Through collaboration and women empowerment programmes, the gap is slowly being bridged, but discrimination continues to exist.Fortunately, there are a slew of resources and even grants to help close the disparity and income gap.

In this guide, well point you directly to the some of the most relevant resources available to women in business, so you can use this weakness as strength as only a savvy entrepreneur could.

Wage Disparity

More women are graduating from universities in South Africa, and yet there is still an undeniable income gap. South Africa women earn less than their male counterpart, a ratio that has been stagnant for about 15 years,the wage gap continues even as women start businesses.

Its important to note there’s much more to the issue than gender discrimination. According to the World Bank, women are most likely to open up businesses in the informal or traditionally female sectors, which generate lower revenue. However, African women still predominate in lower-paid so-called caring professions such as teaching and social work, and those gaps travel with them as they create new businesses.

Difficulty Securing Funding

Despite generally having proven creditworthiness,female-run businesses struggle to attract funding. Women-owned businesses tend to be overlooked compared to male counterparts when applying for grants and loans.6According to research from the Diana Report, only 15% of venture capital-backed businesses funded between 2011 and 2013 were women-owned, and companies with a female CEO only received 3% of all venture capital dollars in that time

The disparity in funding severely limits how fast and large women-owned businesses can grow, and how agile these companies can be. It may also limit the kinds of risks they can take.

Social and Cultural Hurdles

In many cultures around the world, women are still expected to work within the home, which can limit business opportunities.

Globally, under-educated women may lack the skills and training that their male counterparts possess to take their businesses up to the next level.4For example, lack of familiarity with technology, engineering and IT infrastructure can prevent a budding clothing manufacturer from starting an online store.

Women also face significant confidence hurdles. When polled, 62.1% of men said they felt capable starting a new business as compared to 47.7% of women

Women-owned businesses have the potential to empower others, stimulate job creation, inject cash into the economy, and create workplace environments that may be more conducive for work and family balance. Though there are hurdles, they aren’t unknown or ignored. In fact, there are many organizations dedicated to helping women-owned business and female entrepreneurs. Lets take a look at what they are so you can support your business ideas.