Female entrepreneurs in South Africa remain in the minority

This week saw the launch of the 2016 Seed Academy Second Annual Startup Survey results published in South Africa on the state of entrepreneurship in the country. The report highlights some interesting findings, particularly in relation to women entrepreneurs. It appears that while slightly more than half of South Africa’s population is female, only 1 in every 3 entrepreneurs is female, and women still remain the minority in a largely male-dominated entrepreneurial landscape. Despite this, the report finds that women entrepreneurs in the country are generally more optimistic about the future, and their greater optimism is matched by a generally more favourable view of the business environment. In terms of growing the numbers of women entrepreneurs in South Africa and assisting them to grow their businesses, the report makes several recommendations, starting with making more focused support available. This includes providing more education on entrepreneurship, more networking opportunities, and more support and representation on various programmes. To fast-track current development efforts, the report recommends actively promoting more success stories of female entrepreneurs, developing specific women focused development programmes, encouraging female mentors to assist them in the specific challenges they face, and identifying innovative funding opportunities for women e.g. collateral free loans and reduced interest rates.