Women entrepreneurs in South Africa play a critical tole in jump-starting the economy and getting our country back on track after a tumultuous two years. An increase in women-run businesses is the cure South Africa desperately needs, as greater economic participation by women entrepreneurs stimulates economies, reduces poverty, and creates jobs.
According to research by Development Economics, women-owned businesses established between 2018 and 2022 may generate R175 billion a year and create close to 1 million jobs. While women entrepreneurs in South Africa are taking great strides to overcome gender-related biases, they still face several structural and societal obstacles.
More than half of South Africa’s population is female, but women comprise only 19,4% of business owners, placing us 45th globally when it comes to female-run businesses, far behind Uganda (39,6%), Botswana (38,5%), and Ghana (36,5%). It is a well-known fact that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play a crucial role in creating a stronger economy and reducing unemployment, thus it it more important than ever that women entrepreneurs are supported in starting their own businesses.
According to the Harvard Business Review, when women-led businesses get funded, they employ 2,5 to 6 times as many women as other businesses, while delivering greater credit turnover than male-led businesses.
We’ve mentioned before[CB1] that by providing women with the guidance, opportunities, and encouragement to become entrepreneurs, Zhauns can help grow an inclusive economy and transform the power relations between women and men. When women are empowered, families thrive, communities are safer, and economies grow.
At Zhauns we give women entrepreneurs in South Africa access to training and tools to start their own businesses and change the rest of their lives. We offer leading industry equipment to small- and medium-sized businesses across the African continent to produce products that are in huge daily demand, thus creating sustainable business opportunities for women to become entrepreneurs and even offer employment to other women in their communities. Global research shows that women’s success is tied to the success of our communities and economies as a whole. With all