Africa has the highest rate of female entrepreneurs in the world according to a recent study by the MasterCard Index of Women’s Entrepreneurship (MIWE). This significant number of female entrepreneurs on the continent has contributed, along with other factors, to a year-on-year growth, globally, in women’s entrepreneurship activity of 10% since 2015.
Ghana leads the global average of 30% with women owning 46.4% of all businesses. The number three spot globally is also occupied by an African country, Uganda, with 33.3% of businesses owned by women.
When it comes to what’s fuelling this growth the following factors can be attributed:
Informal governing structures: The African informal economy is one of the largest in the world according to an IMF study - The Informal Economy in Sub-Saharan Africa : Size and Determinants. Within the informal economy African women can more easily set up small businesses that respond to increasing demand, especially due to continent wide urban migration.
Improvement in infrastructure: Across the continent, travel from village to village, country to country and region to region has never been easier due to improved air travel, and road networks. More reliable infrastructure allows women to be more mobile that previous generations and gives them access to resources, suppliers and even markets previously inaccessible. Infrastructural development is on most government agendas in the continent so this access will only continue to improve.
Technology: With the popularity of social media, mobile money and spread of wireless connectivity in rural areas, coupled with the increase in the number of technology hubs, women on the continent are now able forge their own path without reliance on traditional networks and financing to run their businesses.
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