Why supportive ecosystems for women entrepreneurs in Africa are vital

Ask any woman entrepreneur about the challenges and obstacles they face when first starting up and they will tell you they are considerable - from fear of failure, to getting products and services to markets, to finding financing for new ventures - to name but a few. Yet one of the keys to success lies in having supportive ecosystems that can provide the right support, advice, encouragement and, above all, environments where fellow women entrepreneurs can network and collaborate. The Kauffman Foundation, a research organisation focusing on entrepreneurship, found that nearly every one of the more than 360 major metropolitan areas in the United States had such a network in place, helping to drive a new wave of women entrepreneurs in the country. Here in Africa, we also need to work towards creating such positive ecosystems for women entrepreneurs in every major city across the continent, providing an environment where women led businesses can grow and thrive.