About four months ago, Mastercard released the results of its inaugural Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) which showed that Uganda and Botswana have the highest rates of female entrepreneurship in the world.
The results revealed a lot of information pertaining how women are faring in the business fraternity vis-a-vis their male counterparts. The fact that Uganda (34.8%) and Botswana (34.6%) have the highest number of women who are engaged in entrepreneurship in the world was of great importance. It shows how the empowerment of women has been improving and progressing over the years in Africa. In 2015, CNN reported that Sub-Saharan Africa had the highest rates of female entrepreneurship in Africa.
These figures speak of a new generation of women who are unafraid to step into the business world, which in some societies is still viewed as a preserve for men. The figures show a sign of positive attitude from the women in their quest to be their own liberators and in their quest to be financially independent.
According to Forbes, her real time Net Worth as of September 24, 2016, was $3.3 Billion.
However, the worrying observation has been that most of the female entrepreneurs are propelled by necessity and not by inspiration to fully venture into entrepreneurship. What this means is that there somehow is a lack of an enabling business environment that is able to give women a wide array of choices in their aims to be self-assertive. It means that although some women may flourish, it is because they do not have enough options for their survival.
This is vastly opposed to the developed countries where there are endless opportunities, possibilities and conditions that drive women into entrepreneurship. Countries such as New Zealand, Canada and the United States of America have strong business conditions that allow women to own businesses. Some of these conditions include robust small and mid-sized business communities, a high quality of governance and the ease of doing business. The ease of doing business has been a particular impediment in how women succeed as business owners in Africa.
This is what Africa also needs so that even more opportunities are created for women on top of the existing ones that have also helped many women to succeed. There is still an inherent sense of stringent business conditions which still prove to be a hurdle for other women who harbour hopes to own businesses. The current trends as regards the issue of female entrepreneurship are laudable, but more efforts still need to be effected by governments and many stakeholders in both the public and private sectors to ensure more women are given a chance they deservedly should have.
With the current rate of a 1% rise every three years, it would take as long as 42 years to reach 30% women on boards, and 72 years to reach 40%.
Areas such as the entrepreneurial spirit of women, access to financial knowledge assets and also supporting entrepreneurial conditions such as the ease of doing business have been improving considerably in Africa, which is highly commendable. However, more still needs to be done to ensure women fully harness these opportunities.