PThere is no doubt that women entrepreneurs globally face challenges in doing business than that of their male counterparts.
Right from start-ups to growing businesses, women entrepreneurs struggle in the male dominated business world to survive.
The dominant challenges they face include policies on access to finance, legal and socio-cultural beliefs which continue to militate against women entrepreneurs.
According to a report by the World Bank’s African Region Gender and Innovation Lab and the Finance, Competitiveness and Innovative Global Practice, African governments need to initiate deliberate policies and programmes to support women entrepreneurs and the growth of their businesses.
That way, the potentials of women entrepreneurs would be unlocked and businesses would flourish to contribute to the development of their countries in Africa.
The Ghanaian Times believes that now than ever before, many countries are facing huge unemployment and other economic challenges due to lack of jobs and opportunities.
In the face of these challenges, however, the World Bank’s report indicated that women entrepreneurs constitute about 42 per cent of Africa’s population and capable of creating more jobs.
This shows that support for women businesses could contribute millions of jobs and billions of dollars to the economies of the various African countries, thereby improving livelihoods.
Unfortunately, women entrepreneurs on the continent are faced with several challenges that inhibit their capabilities to build and grow businesses and compete favourably with their male counterparts.
This should not be happening in an age where economically empowered women entrepreneurs have also been identified as better caterers for their businesses and families.
What this means is that there is an absence of policies to support women entrepreneurs and initiatives that encourages them to take up positions of influence and tap opportunities that come their way.
The Ghanaian Times calls on African governments to initiate policies and programmes that remove barriers impeding growth of businesses belonging to women.
Whilst financial assistance should be made readily available to women entrepreneurs, socio-cultural beliefs that inhibit support for women entrepreneurs, thus thwarting the growth of their businesses must be discarded.
It is, in our own interests to support women entrepreneurs to create the needed jobs for the continent’s teeming unemployed youths.
More importantly, resolving unemployment and livelihood challenges in Africa require deliberate and well executed plans by governments.
Support for women entrepreneurs, then, must be the topmost priority.