African countries have seen an increase in successful female entrepreneurs in aviation, fashion, farming, IT, mining, manufacturing, oil, and more in recent years. The advancement has demolished the gender stereotype that depicts women as weak and unable.
According to Statista, South Africa was the most pro-women entrepreneurship African country in 2020. The country reached 64.4 index points and was succeeded by Botswana (62.4) and Ghana (60.2). These countries have a high ratio of women-owned firms and formally support women entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurship is considered a platform to fuel prosperity and help alleviate poverty in Africa, with female entrepreneurs as the mainstay of development and financial inclusion instruments in the continent.
These courageous and ambitious entrepreneurs are helping to shape Africa’s future by mentoring millions of women and youth.
Here are 5 African countries with the most successful female entrepreneurs
Uganda has the most significant proportion of female entrepreneurs globally, with 90.5 per cent of women borrowing and saving money to start a business, compared to 52.4 per cent in other low-to-lower-middle-income countries.
Uganda has a strong entrepreneurial culture, including among women. It is one of just seven countries where the number of women motivated to pursue entrepreneurial activities is equal.
Julian Adyeri Omalla is a successful female entrepreneur in Uganda. Her business, Delight Uganda Limited, focuses on fruit juice processing and agri-business and has helped her advocate for women’s rights and empowerment in Uganda.
Botswana is striving hard to diversify its economy, which traditionally relies on diamond production and sales. According to the World Bank’s Doing Business Report, the country has the most significant new business density in Africa, with 13.11 new enterprises registered per 1000 adults.
Education and entrepreneurship are essential drivers of this progress, helping to reduce Botswana’s 29.4% youth unemployment rate – and women are at the forefront of these efforts. Women entrepreneurs are on the increase in Botswana.
African Wax Prints BW founder, Theo Khumo, is one successful entrepreneur in Botswana focused on textile design, with a mission to serve local sewing needs.
At 60.2 per cent, Ghana boasts the world’s highest percentage of women-owned enterprises. In a region that has been stereotyped as patriarchal, women make up 96.1 per cent of the labour force in Ghana. Furthermore, the majority of women entrepreneurs in the country have good attitudes.
Joelle Eyeson is a successful entrepreneur in Ghana. She is a co-founder of Hive Earth. The company uses an innovative technique in the nation to produce affordable eco-friendly dwellings. Hive Earth constructs eco-friendly homes with mud using the rammed earth construction technique, which means they build with mud. According to her, mud has enormous benefits such as keeping room temperatures cool, being strong, and maintenance-free.
According to the Veuve Clicquot International Women Entrepreneur Barometer Study, 54 per cent of South African women consider themselves entrepreneurs, making them the most entrepreneurial of the 17 countries studied.
The ‘Supporting Entrepreneurial Environments’ component of the Index, which measures how supportive entrepreneurial conditions are as boosters or limitations of female business ownership, helped South Africa witness its largest improvement.
Sibongile Sambo is a leader in the aviation industry. She is the founder of SRS Aviation, South Africa’s first black female-owned enterprise in the aviation industry.
According to the “State of Entrepreneurship in Nigeria 2021” report, 43 and 67 per cent of entrepreneurs in the country are women and youths between the ages of 18 and 35.
Nigerian women are believed to hold 41% of micro-businesses in the country. This type of business has been referred to as the “engine room” of a country’s economy on numerous occasions.
Folorunsho Alakija is a successful Nigerian philanthropist and self-made billionaire. Her career began in 1974 as a secretary at Sijuade Enterprises, followed by stints as a banker, fashion, and eventually the oil sector.
Famfa Oil Limited, which she owns, and real estate has been her source of wealth. In 2020, Forbes magazine ranked her as the richest woman in Africa with a net worth of 1 billion US dollars.
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