African Entrepreneurship In Africa

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Given the historical hardships that the African continent has experienced, it is no surprise that its walk to economic freedom is but a speedy one. Due to cultural traditions and beliefs that have suppressed women and restricted them educationally, socially and economically, it is explicable that they are the least active as entrepreneurs in the continent. As successful American Entrepreneur and Television personality, Lori Greiner asserted, “Entrepreneurship is the way we take control of our lives in a tough economy”. Therefore, over the past few years, women have taken it upon themselves to ensure that they are included and are active economically by taking control of their lives in the tough economy of Africa by becoming entrepreneurs, breaking…show more content…
It is estimated that African women constitute 70% of the informal economy (EYGM, 2011). According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, women in Africa are liable for 70% of crop production, 50% of animal husbandry and 60% of marketing. Women undertake nearly 100% of food processing activities, in addition to child care and other responsibilities in households. In the Business Women’s Association’s South African Women in Leadership Census 2011, it was found that, in 2004, there were only 10 companies with more than 25% women in senior management. This improved significantly to 58 companies in 2008 and then fell back to only 37 companies in 2011. Statistics also revealed that there were 4.4% CEOs/MDs, 5.3% chairpersons, 15.8% directorships, 21.6% executive managers, and 35% government senior managers of female workforce representation. Likewise, the number of women in board roles is significantly under-represented. In South Africa, of the 25 largest Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed companies by market capitalization, only two have 25% or more director positions held by women. According to the South African Department of Trade and Industry (2011), informal female owned businesses employ less people and make less sales than male-owned businesses. Moreover, women are disproportionately found in smaller firms, in the informal sector, and in lower-value-added…show more content…
This therefore makes women more restricted and vulnerable than men. For example, in Saudi Arabia, the women cannot expand into international markets as easily as men can because of restrictions on their travel, and in Swaziland, women require the permission of husbands or fathers to open a bank account or business, obtain a passport or enforce a contract. However, there has been some progress. In Rwanda, a law passed in 1999 allows women inheritance rights equal to those of men, which improved the situation of many widows from the 1995 genocide (EYGM,

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